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Harrogate Hospital misses waiting time target

Harrogate Hospital misses waiting time target

Published by Lisa Darvill at 6:50am 22nd January 2020.

Hundreds of A&E patients waited more than four hours before being dealt with at Harrogate and District Hospital in December. 

  • The target is for A&Es to admit, transfer or discharge at least 95% of patients within four hours
  • NHS statistics show that patients at Harrogate Hospital waited longer on 742 occasions in December
  • That's around 14.3% of all attendances
  • It means the hospital missed its target of 95%
  • However, the hospital was still the best performing in the region last month

The required target for A&E departments is to admit, transfer or discharge at least 95% of patients within four hours of arrival.

But NHS statistics show that patients at Harrogate Hospital waited longer on 742 occasions in December - 14% of all attendances. That means it dealt with 86% of people in the four-hour target. 

The vast majority of NHS A&E departments across England fell short of the 95% target in December. 

Harrogate Hospital A&E
Harrogate Hospital A&E

 

Nationally, just 79.8% of patients were seen within four hours - the worst performance for any month since records began in 2010. 

A&E departments also dealt with more patients, with 2.2 million visits in December, a rise of 6% compared to the previous year. 

Despite missing the 95% target, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust was the best performing in the region last month. In 2019, the trust was overall, the 6th best performing in the country. 

Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Harrogate Hospital, Dr. Matt Shepard said: 

"It's been a busy year all round. December was difficult and winter is always a difficult time, so it has been busier than usual.

"Most patients are seen within one to two hours of arriving and things are happening, tests are happening.

"With a bigger volume of patients, it means we're not able to complete people's care under four hours. So I'd hate for people to think patients were sat waiting with nothing happening for four hours, that's not the case at all."

However, Dr. Shepard says there is still work to do.

He added: 

"We would still love to be hitting the four-hour target at 95%, but that hasn't been possible. But we still know we're holding our own in terms of the national picture.

"We intend and are putting things in place to try and improve and get back to 95% as soon as we can."