QA Hospital vows to improve A&E waiting times after 1,600 patients leave without being assessed

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MORE than 1,600 patients 'gave up' and left A&E without being assessed at Portsmouth’s main hospital last year.

Queen Alexandra Hospital has vowed to improve their A&E waiting times after the figures from NHS Digital revealed that at least 1,605 patients were recorded as having left A&E without being seen by medical staff in the 12 months to May – more than four a day.

The A&E department at QA

The A&E department at QA

Lesley Bishop, divisional director of medicine and urgent care at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: 'Our emergency department has seen a significant increase in the number of patients requiring our services over recent years, particularly throughout the winter season. All patients are assessed and prioritised according to their condition, but this has led to some patients experiencing longer waiting times than we would like, on occasion.'

'We recognise that this is an area in which we need to improve and, in addition to a range of improvements we are making at PHT, we are working with local health partners to implement further changes. These include improving access to GP appointments and making best use of St Mary’s Hospital Urgent Care Centre and the Minor Injuries Units at both Petersfield Community Hospital and Gosport War Memorial Hospital, as alternatives to attending our emergency department for appropriate conditions.'

During May 1.9 per cent of patients across England left without being seen, which is an improvement on the same month two years ago, when it was 3.3 per cent.

But the rate for people leaving without being seen has worsened in Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

In May, it stood at 4.5 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in 2017.

However, at the end of last year it was announced QA would receive £60m from the government to build a new A&E to help with struggles including long queues as patients wait for treatment and to be unloaded from ambulances.

It is hoped that the new A&E will be up and running by February 2021. 

In all the cash – which in total is £58,282,000, will pay not just a for a redeveloped A&E, but also an acute mental health unit, and more diagnostic equipment among other things.