Nursing chiefs concerned over Southampton hospital's failure to meet A&E targets

Daily Echo: The A&E department at Southampton General Hospital. The A&E department at Southampton General Hospital.

NURSING chiefs have summoned Southampton hospital bosses to urgent talks after the Daily Echo revealed waiting times in the city’s accident and emergency department have rocketed.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is concerned about the failure of Southampton General Hospital to meet a key target – to treat 95 per cent of patients in casualty within four hours.

Just three weeks ago A&E treated only 60.4 per cent of patients within the four-hour target – with 741 patients forced to wait longer, which is almost a 700 per cent rise on the same week last year.

Hospital bosses have blamed an “extremely busy and prolonged winter” for creating sustained pressure on resources, with an “exceptional” increase in numbers of patients during the week in April.

It comes after the Daily Echo exclusively revealed that the hospital had been stretched to the limit and overwhelmed with patients during the winter months.

The Echo reported figures that showed the hospital was put on its most extreme alert more times than ever before and how the accident and emergency department failed to meet the 95 per cent within four hours target for 46 consecutive weeks.

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Between December and February bosses were forced to put the hospital on black alert a record 27 times and between April 2012 and February 2013, almost a quarter of patients – 19,193 – in accident and emergency department were not seen within four hours.

The RCN is seeking “urgent” talks with hospital bosses to find out why this is happening.

Patricia Marquis, south east regional director of the RCN, said: “It isn’t clear why the situation is getting worse. It is probably the culmination of several factors causing these problems and we will be seeking urgent talks with the trusts involved to try and find out what is going so wrong.”

Hospital bosses said the reason for such poor performance in the week ending April 7 was because casualty was getting 430 patients a day – 130 more than normal.

However, as the Daily Echo has reported, concerns over waiting times in the accident and emergency department over the past year forced chiefs to call in a NHS task force to identify an action plan.

In a statement Judy Gillow, director of nursing at the hospital, said: “As one of the largest acute hospital trusts in the country incorporating a major trauma centre for the critically and seriously injured, we treat around 300 patients in the emergency department every day and it is necessary to prioritise based on clinical need.

“Following an extremely busy and prolonged winter, which created a sustained period of pressure on resources in urgent and elderly care as well as across our hospitals as a whole, waiting times have been higher than we would want or normally expect.”

Comments (4)

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4:43pm Mon 29 Apr 13

Rjhsoton says...

isn't it due to saving money and having fewer beds to transfer patients to that causes these delays which in turn affects the ambulance response times because of delays handing over patients in a and e
isn't it due to saving money and having fewer beds to transfer patients to that causes these delays which in turn affects the ambulance response times because of delays handing over patients in a and e Rjhsoton

7:32pm Mon 29 Apr 13

cantthinkofone says...

Rjhsoton wrote:
isn't it due to saving money and having fewer beds to transfer patients to that causes these delays which in turn affects the ambulance response times because of delays handing over patients in a and e
Yes, basically. But not HOSPITAL beds. It's the failure to spend enough on nursing home beds, or carers to help people in their own homes. That, and the endless bureaucracy that goes with it and takes so long. Anyone who's had an elderly relative needing care after hospital will know what I mean. Because of that, most hospitals in the UK have about 1/3 of their beds occupied by people that don't need to be there.

If those beds weren't blocked, the A&E target wouldn't be a problem.

I don't know about So'ton specifically, but this is the case in most major hospitals across England at the moment, and I've no reason to think it's not the case closer to home as well.
[quote][p][bold]Rjhsoton[/bold] wrote: isn't it due to saving money and having fewer beds to transfer patients to that causes these delays which in turn affects the ambulance response times because of delays handing over patients in a and e[/p][/quote]Yes, basically. But not HOSPITAL beds. It's the failure to spend enough on nursing home beds, or carers to help people in their own homes. That, and the endless bureaucracy that goes with it and takes so long. Anyone who's had an elderly relative needing care after hospital will know what I mean. Because of that, most hospitals in the UK have about 1/3 of their beds occupied by people that don't need to be there. If those beds weren't blocked, the A&E target wouldn't be a problem. I don't know about So'ton specifically, but this is the case in most major hospitals across England at the moment, and I've no reason to think it's not the case closer to home as well. cantthinkofone

8:45pm Mon 29 Apr 13

damehippy says...

Recently my son went to majors at about 9pm, we left at 2,30 am, by the time we left the people waiting in trolleys to be seen had stretched all along the corridor, excellent nurses at Southampton ED but far too many patients! Perhaps the amount of people getting totally wrecked on a Friday night is the cause! Excellent staff in ED can never win because the department not big enough for all the people needing treatment, all the thanks they get is bad press for breaching the 4 hour wait rule, sod the fact that when you ate their the treatment you get is excellent, all people care about however is that the wait is too long
Recently my son went to majors at about 9pm, we left at 2,30 am, by the time we left the people waiting in trolleys to be seen had stretched all along the corridor, excellent nurses at Southampton ED but far too many patients! Perhaps the amount of people getting totally wrecked on a Friday night is the cause! Excellent staff in ED can never win because the department not big enough for all the people needing treatment, all the thanks they get is bad press for breaching the 4 hour wait rule, sod the fact that when you ate their the treatment you get is excellent, all people care about however is that the wait is too long damehippy

8:49pm Mon 29 Apr 13

damehippy says...

Last bit should say when you are there not ate their lol
Last bit should say when you are there not ate their lol damehippy

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