WAITING times at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s A&E are showing signs of improvement – but work still needs to be done.
In March, 88 per cent of patients that arrived in the emergency department were seen, treated or discharged within four hours.
The national benchmark requires this to happen 95 per cent of the time.
This was last achieved by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs QA, in October 2013.
The Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, which buys in healthcare, discussed the waiting times at its governing board meeting.
Chairman Dr David Chilvers said: ‘Hitting the four-hour waiting time target in the emergency department has been a massive challenge for the NHS for some time now.
‘In March, more than 88 per cent of emergency department patients at Queen Alexandra Hospital were treated within four hours – that is a major advance on February, when the figure was 76 per cent.
‘Nobody is pretending that the problem has magically gone away, but there are large numbers of staff who deserve a lot of credit for that improvement.
‘Speeding up access to emergency care depends on many teams across the whole system making changes.’
The latest figures show the week ending April 5, the target was met 74.9 per cent of the time, for April 12 it was 75.1 per cent and for April 19 it was 81.5 per cent.
Initiatives to help ease the pressure include having GPs based in A&E to treat patients who do not need to be there and ensuring patients are discharged from hospital more quickly.
Dr Chilvers added: ‘The CCGs have supported QA to make changes to the way consultants and other frontline staff work, and we have backed the introduction of primary care staff to the emergency department “front door”.
‘Outside the main hospital we have supported NHS teams to work together to stop people being sent to QA unnecessarily, and to get people settled back at home more quickly, if they needed to spend time in hospital.
‘There are encouraging signs that all of this work is having an effect, but everyone involved knows there is still a great deal of work ahead.’
A PHT spokesman said: ‘We are pleased with the improvements but continue to have a plan to meet the national requirement of 95 per cent of our patients seen within four hours.’
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