Carlisle hospital bosses defend '11-hour' response times
Last updated at 11:46, Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Hospital bosses have defended response times at Carlisle’s A&E department after an MP claimed some patients have endured 11-hour waits.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed told the News & Star that there were some “absolutely incredible” waits at the Cumberland Infirmary’s A&E, including some of more than 11 hours.
The Shadow Health Minister claims that “many more” patients are being transferred from Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital to Carlisle for treatment than originally thought.
This has placed “huge strain” on staff at the Cumberland Infirmary, resulting in the lengthy delays at Carlisle’s A&E, as well as the cancellation of elective surgery, while operating theatres in Whitehaven are sometimes idle, he added.
But the trust in charge of the Cumberland Infirmary insists there is “no evidence” of A&E patients being forced to wait that long.
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust confirmed that “the majority” of patients are either discharged from hospital, treated or admitted onto a ward within four hours.
A spokeswoman said: “Our staff in our A&E units at both hospitals have worked, and continue to work very hard to ensure we hit the waiting target set by the Government.
“Our performance has improved greatly as a result of a detailed service improvement plan.
“This includes the introduction of an ambulatory care service for routine ‘drop-in care’ and the introduction of a better process for patient discharge – this is freeing up capacity in our A&E units and delivering a better experience for our patients.”
She also referred to the NHS Trust Development Authority’s latest report which showed that staff are seeing patients within four hours between 91.8 per cent of the time and 96.7 per cent between April and July.
It comes as a College of Emergency Medicine report shows that the number of A&E units across the country failing to meet Government waiting time targets has almost trebled in a year – up to 39 failing to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours from July to September.
Meanwhile, Mr Reed also claims that some patients at the Cumberland Infirmary are being sent elsewhere because the hospital “can’t cope”.
And a “huge number” of people are being sent to private practices for their operations, he said.
Mr Reed’s claims come after he described health services across north Cumbria as being “in chaos” following his summit with medical bosses last week.
After the summit he said that some promises made as part of the Closer to Home consultation four years ago may not be fulfilled.
He added that the trust cannot give any assurances over future services that will be provided at the West Cumberland Hospital.
Mr Reed said yesterday: “I am still thinking about how to tackle this [A&E waiting times] – there is a lot going on that is deeply worrying and a lack of transparency and honesty on so many fronts.”
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust said it faces “immense challenges” in providing safe and sustainable healthcare but some “excellent improvements” have already been made.
The trust added that there are some challenges it can’t and won’t ignore and talks are needed to understand them further, but it will be the responsibility of the Clinical Commissioning Group to commission a safe and sustainable service.
First published at 11:24, Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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ran by clowns and staffed with in general carlisle people with the usual carlisle attidude,the worlds against me sort.your better of walking to newcastle than going the carlisle.
I think Nimrods post says it all really doesn't it.
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