Cookie Consent by Popupsmart Website

Connecting to LinkedIn...


News & Social Media

Revealed: How hospitals and ambulances in your area coped during the NHS winter crisis

Posted on 6/04/2018 by

99224778 Pa1

Our ambulance service was the best performing as winter pressures hit the health service

Winter put the NHS under immense pressure due to a perfect storm of vomiting bugs, terrible weather and Australian flu.

The health service published weekly performance reports to examine how it coped during winter. These have now been summarised in a document published in the House of Commons Library.

It measures health trusts’ performances on factors like waiting times, ambulance response and ward closures.

Around the country, more than one-third of patients had to wait at least four hours to be seen at 19 out of 137 hospital trusts, while 13% of ambulances were delayed by 30 minutes.

In the North East, we had ward closures due to norovirus and flu outbreaks, while wintry conditions made roads difficult for ambulances.

So how did our hospitals and services fare?

North East Ambulance Service was the only ambulance trust to meet the seven minute target

Paramedics are set a goal to reach most life-threatening 999 calls within seven minutes. Throughout England, only the North East Ambulance Service achieved this throughout December, January and February. Its average category 1 response times for those months were 6 minutes 57 seconds, 6 minutes 32 seconds and 6 minutes 34 seconds, respectively.

In contrast, the North West’s service averaged 11 minutes 17 seconds, 9 minutes 51 seconds and 8 minutes 51 seconds.

Our hospitals fared well on A&E waiting times

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust had the highest percentage of four-hour A&E waiting times in our region, at 25%, compared to a national average of 22.9%. It placed 85th out of 137 trusts.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was 89th on four-hour waiting time percentage, with 24.7%.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust ranked 47th, with 17.7% of patients waiting in A&E for at least four hours before being seen. Its hospitals include Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Newcastle’s trust, which runs the Royal Victoria Infirmary, ranked 27th. There, 13.2% of patients faced a wait of at least four hours at A&E.

South Tyneside was 18th, while Gateshead Health came in 16th. Their four-hour wait rates were 11.8% and 11.3%.

How many patients spent hours on “trolley waits” before being admitted?

Trolley waits are where patients wait longer than four hours to be admitted after medical staff have made the decision to take the patient in.

Generally, our hospitals performed well against others.

County Durham and Darlington had the highest percentage of trolley waits in our region.

The Durham trust’s four-hour trolley wait percentage came in at 20.7%, putting it at 105th in England.

Gateshead’s 13.8% put it in 70th, while Newcastle Upon Tyne’ Trust’s 4.6% placed it at 31st.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust had a 0% trolley wait rate.

How full were our hospital beds?

Statistics show the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had one of the lowest occupancy rates for beds, at an average of 86.6% throughout the winter.

Sheffield had England’s lowest, at 75.6%.

City Hospitals Sunderland Trust’s bed occupancy rate averaged at 86.6%. County Durham and Darlington’s was 87.4%, while Northumbria’s was 89.3%. Gateshead’s 95.7% rate put it in 73rd.

How many bed days were lost to norovirus?

Norovirus outbreaks closed wards across the North East this winter. The NHS recorded how many bed days were lost to the bug.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust lost 42 bed days, with Gateshead’s trust losing 70. City Hospitals Sunderland lost 195.

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust lost 1,223 bed days.

County Durham And Darlington NHS Foundation Trust lost none.

What percentage of 111 calls were answered within 60 seconds?

NHS 111 is the free number to call when someone has an urgent healthcare need. Callers are directed to local services.

The North East came seventh out of 41 NHS 111 services, with 83.8% of calls answered within 60 seconds.

Nationally, the British Medical Association says the NHS’s winter challenges are another reason the ‘crisis’ health service needs extra funding

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association Council, said: “Though the traditional winter period may now be over, we must be clear: this is no longer just a seasonal problem, it has become a year-round crisis.

“While the Prime Minister’s commitment last week to a long-term funding plan for the NHS is to be welcomed, it must be met with the reality of urgent and tangible new investment that will properly address the year-round pressures faced by the health service and ensure that patients receive safe, high-quality care.”

An NHS England spokesman said: “As we have said before, in the face of a ‘perfect storm’ of prolonged bad weather, persistently high flu hospitalisation and spikes in norovirus, the NHS treated 160,000 more A&E patients within four hours during a challenging winter, compared with the previous year.

“The NHS also treated a record number of cancer patients over the most pressured months of the year.”

Source: ChronicleLive