LATEST figures show that A&E waiting times at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth have risen again.
In the week ending February 8, only 70 per cent of those who attended were seen, treated or discharged within four hours.
This is despite Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) – which runs QA – putting in a raft of measures to tackle the problem.
The national average for the same week stood at 89 per cent.
The government benchmark is for patients to be dealt with in four hours 95 per cent of the time.
PHT had recently seen steady improvement, picking up from 61.5 per cent at the start of January, to 73 per cent in the first week of February.
Mark Hoban, MP for Fareham, has been in talks with health bosses over the on-going A&E crisis.
He said: ‘After having made some progress it’s disappointing the waiting times have slipped back.
‘But we knew this wasn’t going to be a smooth journey and it will take some time to get to the figures we all want to be at.
‘It’s important the hospital, the GPs, and all those relevant aren’t knocked off course by this and they continue to work together to get to the government target.’
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock thinks staffing levels in A&E need to be looked at.
He said: ‘You can’t question the aspiration for those involved to reach the benchmark – it’s just how we can get there.
‘It’s good to see some improvements have been made, but there’s still a long way to go.
‘We need to see some real answers as to why this is continuing.
‘Are there enough staff and doctors in the department to help the flow of patients get through?’
Changes have already been made at QA, including the use of more hospital beds and increasing ward rounds to identify patients that are ready to go home.
And as revealed by The News, a scheme that sees GPs working in A&E is to be extended to 24 hours a day in a bid to ease huge demands.
The initiative was introduced to sift out those people who are at QA unnecessarily, and in the past year has worked at keeping hundreds of people being admitted.
Known as the urgent care centre, it will go 24 hours a day in April to further ease the pressure.