Sherwood Forest Hospitals missing NHS target for A&E waiting times

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Two-thirds of people who arrived at accident and emergency at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust (SFHT) were seen within four hours last month, new figures show – missing the NHS recovery target.

The NHS standard is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours.

However, the Government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76 per cent of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.

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NHS England figures show there were 15,465 visits to A&E at SFHT in November.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust missed targets for A&E waiting times. Photo: OtherSherwood Forest Hospitals Trust missed targets for A&E waiting times. Photo: Other
Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust missed targets for A&E waiting times. Photo: Other

Of them, 10,380 were seen within four hours – accounting for 67 per cent of arrivals.

It means the trust fell short of the recovery target and the NHS standard.

Across England, 70 per cent of patients were seen within four hours last month, down slightly from October.

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The numbers also show 42,854 people waited over 12 hours in A&E departments – including specialty departments and minor injury units – from a decision to admit to actually being admitted, a slight fall from 45,655 in October.

At SFHT, 963 patients waited longer than four hours, including 146 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

The Nuffield Trust says longer waits in A&E are a bellwether for winter pressures on the NHS.

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The overall number of attendances to A&E at SFHT in November was a slight drop from the 15,932 visits recorded during October, but three per cent more than the 15,015 patients seen in November 2022.

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Prof Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said staff face a ‘challenging winter’.

He said this includes the rising number of patients with flu, issues discharging medically fit patients due to a lack of social care capacity, and more industrial action planned ahead of Christmas.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "We know that winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and that’s why this year as Prime Minister I made sure that we started planning with the NHS for winter earlier than we've ever done it."

Mr Sunak said extra funding towards expanding A&E departments, increasing the number of ambulances on the road, and improving the social care sector will free up capacity to treat urgent patients.

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Rachel Eddie, chief operating officer at SFHT, said: “Demand for NHS services remains high across the country but we are working hard to increase the number of patients seen within four hours despite the challenges of winter and managing the significant impact that industrial action has on our staff, patients and services.

“A&E isn’t always the best place for patients to access the care they need, which is why we continue to work with our health and social care partners to ensure that patients can continue to access the treatment they need in the appropriate place as quickly as possible.

“High demand means that patients sometimes have to wait longer for the treatment they need and I would like to thank our patients for their understanding as our hard-working NHS staff work to see them as quickly as possible.

“Before visiting A&E, we’re asking people to consider whether it is a genuine emergency as it’s often not the best place for their needs.

"If you need urgent medical attention when it’s not an emergency, please contact NHS 111.”