Contrary to popular belief in some quarters, we here at The News take no joy in what is perceived as ‘knocking’ the Queen Alexandra Hospital. But we do believe we have a duty to report when things are not running as they should.
We make no apology for hammering home the point in previous stories – it was an unacceptable situation.
And we also know that there are many hardworking members of staff doing their jobs to the best of their abilities in what have been very difficult circumstances.
The flipside of that coin is being able to report good news when things are going well – and that is why we have put the positive story about improvements in the hospital’s A&E department on our front page today.
The CQC’s April report made for grim reading.
It is therefore brilliant to be able to report that the measures put in place have facilitated a drastic reduction in the time of those waiting for transfer from an ambulance into A&E.
There is clearly determination from both Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and South Central Ambulance Service to turn things around and so far, so good.
However, with winter approaching the new system will face its greatest challenge.
Admission numbers typically skyrocket in the colder weather, and all A&E departments across the country face huge challenges in meeting demand.
This is the time when the new system will really be put to the test and we hope it will not be found wanting.
But with new management and the implementation of new working practices, this is a real chance to crack this problem.
Let us hope that the opportunity for a permanent change for the better is not wasted.