QA Hospital fails to reach four-hour A&E target

The accident and emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
The accident and emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
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Queen Alexandra Hospital is continuing to fall well below the national target for A&E waiting times, new figures reveal.

In November the Cosham hospital saw, treated or discharged 70.8 per cent of patients within four hours — the target set by the government is 95 per cent.

QA, which is run by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, is also below the national average for last month which was 83 per cent for major A&E departments.

Since August, the figure has improved from 66.3 per cent to 70.8 per cent in November.

In that time, the trust has seen more than 9,000 patients admitted in A&E a month with 9,335 patients attending in November.

A spokesman for Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust said: ‘Like many hospitals around the country our emergency department has continued to be exceptionally busy.

‘Our goal as a trust is to continue to have our staff focused on improving our patient’s experiences.

‘In addition, we want to continue to ensure that the sickest get seen as a priority at all times.

‘We work in partnership with all agencies to support patients being discharged appropriately and safely which ultimately ensures that we have more space for our emergency admissions.’

Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, recently visited the emergency department.

He said: ‘I visited QA Hospital to meet with the chief executive about the improvements he and his team are making across the trust to ensure high levels of patient safety and care, and the meeting of national targets.

‘I asked for a tour of A&E and was pleased to talk with frontline staff to see the care they provide and hear the challenges they face during the busy winter months.

‘These latest figures are the step in the right direction, with much more to do.

‘I commend doctors, nurses and those working at A&E for all they are doing for those in need of urgent care.’

Nationally, 88.9 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in all types of A&E departments in November — the lowest figure since February.

The last time the national average reached the 95 per cent four-hour target was in July 2015.

Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: ‘When we talk about the NHS at the moment, all we can say and see is pressure, pressure and more pressure - the system is on a knife-edge.’