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Waiting times in Gloucestershire A&E worst for a decade, says new report

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

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EXTRA pressure on emergency departments has seen waiting times reach their worst levels for a decade, according to a new report by the King's Fund charity.

Patients receiving treatment within four hours dropped below 95 per cent at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals in December.

A nursing director has been drafted in to help bring waiting times back to acceptable levels.

It was the first time since April the Hospitals Trust had failed to deliver the required standard with delays blamed on a lack of beds and waiting times to be assessed in A&E.

Trust chief executive Dr Frank Harsent said winter pressures were also partly responsible.

"Over the winter period we have been experiencing increased demand for our services," he said.

"We appreciate this can be frustrating for those with minor injuries who are asked to wait for treatment in our Emergency Departments.

"Throughout this time, we have continued to provide a high standard of treatment and urgent cases have been dealt with quickly.

"However the increases in the number of people in the county requiring less urgent care has had some impact on our waiting times.

"We have experienced some delays over the winter period, but our target is to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours and our performance year to date is 95.5 per cent.

"Hospitals across the South West have been experiencing similar pressures and we constantly review trends and work with our partners across the county to help transfer medically-fit patients from our acute hospital to community services or to home if appropriate."

In the last three months of 2012, 232,000 patients waited more than four hours in A&E in the UK – up 38 per cent over the previous quarter.

Experts at The King's Fund said between October and December the proportion of patients waiting more than four hours was at its highest level since 2003.

Researchers said as financial pressures continue to "bite hard" on the health service there was growing pressure on emergency care.

So-called "trolley waits" – where A&E patients needing to be admitted to hospital have to wait before they are given a bed – were also at their highest rate since the same period in 2003.

County hospital staff are calling on people to only attend A&E in an emergency.

Live waiting times can be viewed at www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk.

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  • MrGarnet  |  February 19 2013, 10:32PM

    nickthompson What was voted in was a Tony Be-Liar MK2 with another bunch of similar left wing wierdos called liberals! They are trying to sort out the appalling mess that the burkes in the Liebore party created. That is FACT! Not very comforting but that is what you have.

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  • spindles12  |  February 18 2013, 8:12PM

    "we are getting exactly what we voted for when we elected a Tory shambles Are you honestly saying the the NHS has got worse since the last election! Wastage, cut backs, long waiting times etc. has been going on for years, it just hasn't happened suddenly in the last couple of years. Was it all sunshine and roses when Labour was in, was it heck. There have been stories of cutbacks and long waiting times for years and years. I remember back around 1966 - 1970 having to wait over three hours past an appointment time in hospital clinics and that was the norm not a one off event. Just look at old newspapers and see what's been happening for decades not just a couple of years.

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  • Willow_Wisp  |  February 18 2013, 5:59PM

    Always sad to read stories like this...it just isn't my experience...I had cause to visit Gloucester A&E 3 weeks ago, with what - by A&E standards - was a relatively minor complaint...there on a Friday night....in, triaged, seen, treated, and packed off all within 2 hours.

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  • Justica  |  February 18 2013, 5:25PM

    With Staffs hospital, lack of midwives and generally bad stories of a 'dying NHS' this is paving the way for privatisation in an effort to make it 'more efficient'. They have already brought in 'patchwork privatisation' by outsourcing mental health services and children services in parts of the country (Richard Branson's Virgin empire amongst them). We all know what a disaster cleaning contracts were with MRSA and the like, we don't want any more profiteers taking our money AND our health !

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  • nickthompson  |  February 18 2013, 4:35PM

    Well what do you expect,we are getting exactly what we voted for when we elected a Tory shambles,they haven't agreed with the Health Service ,or indeed the welfare state since 1947,and we now sit back and watch, allowing them to kill both by a thousand cuts.

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  • spindles12  |  February 18 2013, 12:06PM

    If there was a Minor Injury Unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital this would be a big help in making sure that only major injuries were seen at A&E. Unfortunately there is NO Minor Injury Unit in Gloucester, the nearest one appears to be Stroud. As a recent report said that waiting times at the outlying MIU's was an average of 40 minutes perhaps people would be better off going to one of those rather than to Gloucester. It would be far better if there WAS a unit at Gloucester Royal and maybe this is something they could think about. Another thing that would help in the A&E Department is if schools didn't send children who had received the slightest bump or scratch to hospital where they run around with no obvious signs of injury. If they and others like them were referred to their doctor's surgery this would be better than clogging up the system unnecessarily. It was many years ago that I was in the Accident Unit with a broken ankle and heard an elderly lady talking to a doctor. He was gently telling her that the reason for her visit, a flareup of her long standing arthritis, should have been dealt with by her own GP. Her reply was that she "didn't like to bother him as he's always so busy"!

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  • Hackingtackle  |  February 18 2013, 10:50AM

    I totally agree with buffersyeoman - with waiting times so high in the County they certainly need to cut back services at Cheltenham as soon as possible. I know it doesn't make sense to us 'laymen' but I'm sure 'Frankie Boy Harsent' knows exactly what he's doing. That's what Mark Harper once told me anyway and there's no way he would lie to us now, is there?

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  • buffersyeoman  |  February 18 2013, 8:33AM

    No doubt things will improve when they close the A@E at Cheltenham General. It will take 45 minutes to get there, what a shambles!?

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