latest health care news

20.07.16

NHSI to scrutinise patient waiting times at Royal United Hospitals Bath

NHS Improvement (NHSI) is looking at how Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS FT can reduce patient waiting times for A&E and planned procedures.

When Royal United Hospitals Bath was authorised as an FT in October 2014, actions were agreed to reduce waiting times for its A&E.

However, NHSI said that the FT is still facing increasing numbers of patients and long waiting times, and it wants to find out whether the trust’s emergency care plan has properly adapted to the increasing demand.

Claudia Griffith, regional director at NHSI, said: “We know the trust has been working hard for some time to try to cut down how long patients are waiting in its A&E and for planned procedures.

“Patients are still waiting too long though, so we really want to find out more about the challenges it is facing and what further support the trust might need to consistently improve for its patients.”

The trust sought expert advice from its Emergency Care and Intensive Support Team to improve its emergency care plan at the end of last year.

This year, NHS England and NHSI have introduced a programme of co-ordinated work between the trust and local commissioners to help community care support efforts to improve the A&E.

It is not yet known whether NHSI will take regulatory action. Across the NHS as a whole, the percentage of A&E patients being seen within the target of four hours was at the lowest level ever in January to March 2016.

1.00pm UPDATE

Francesca Thompson, the trust's chief operating officer, said: “Our hospital is under pressure, particularly in urgent and emergency care. However, I would like to reassure the thousands of patients who come through our A&E department every month - you will be assessed within nine minutes of arrival, and whilst we always prioritise our most poorly patients, currently, everyone who needs treatment receives it within an hour of arriving through our door.”

(Image c. Peter Byrne)

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