Trust told to act over A&E waiting times

Stepping Hill Hospital
Stepping Hill Hospital

Health bosses have been told to take action over A&E waiting times at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Government watchdogs Monitor have told Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, to make improvements to ensure patients are seen more quickly in A&E.

The move comes after the trust breached the national target to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours ten times in the last three years.

Frances Shattock, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “Patients have been waiting too long to be seen in A&E and the trust leadership must tackle this long-standing problem.

“The trust has come up with a plan to cut waiting times on behalf of its patients which it must stick to and we will ensure that they get expert support to help them to do this.”

Ann Barnes, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take Monitor’s concerns seriously and are working extremely hard to achieve the A&E four hour waiting target.

“We recognise that there have been real issues with our performance against this target, although the vast majority of patients continue to receive treatment well within this standard.

“It is really important to stress that our quality of patient care has always been high and is never compromised. We have good feedback from patients who go through our busy A&E department.

“We also continue to meet a huge number of other performance standards around safety, infection control and different waiting times.

“We see around 7,500 people every month in our A&E department and people who need to be treated urgently, do not have to wait.

“The numbers coming through our door have been extremely high at some points and many of the cases very complex.

“We have taken on extra staff, improved processes and changed working practices.

“We have also introduced high-tech IT systems and were one of the first paperless emergency departments in the country through mobile iPad-style devices.

“In addition to this, we have been implementing a large-scale programme across the hospital to improve the flow of patients from arrival to discharge.”