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Shropshire A&E Hospital Trust's Performance Improves

It has recently been reported that four out of five patients attending the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital were seen within four hours of admission in the week ending 1 February 2015.

This is the best performance by the county’s hospitals so far this year, and a significant improvement from January when it was reported that the Shropshire hospitals had failed to achieve the national A&E targets, due to an increase in patients over the Christmas and New Year period.

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The Trust reached a figure of 82.8% of patients being seen within four hours in the second week of February, and whilst it is an improvement from the week prior with 79.7%, it is still quite a long way off the national target of 95% and is still below the current England average of 88.3%.

353 people had to wait longer than four hours to be seen or admitted into hospital - 136 patients more than the average of 217.

Improvement in Figures

Even though these figures are still below average, the Trust have managed to improve their figures despite the constant pressures on the A&E department, as the number of patients increased by 151 in comparison to the week before.

Only 35 out of 105 major A&E hospitals across England are currently meeting the 95% target according to the latest statistics released by NHS England.

Fall in Discharges

It was also reported that the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust had a significant fall in the number of delayed discharges in the county, meaning that a hospital is unable to release a patient even when treatment has been completed due to a lack of support in the community. This problem is a key reason for hospitals struggling in the New Year as the delays have meant the flow of patients in and out of the hospitals has been slow.

Debbie Kadum, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust said: “Hospitals across the country are extremely busy, and we are no different. We have seen over 2,500 more people in our Emergency Departments over the last three months. But despite this, the number of people admitted, transferred or discharged in under four hours has increased by nearly 2,000. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of all of our staff and I want to thank all of them for their dedication in ensuring our patients are kept safe and given the best care possible under very challenging circumstances.”

“These figures show that there are people who are waiting too long in A&E. But many people in A&E didn’t really need to be there and could have been helped much more quickly by thinking of the alternatives.”

With this in mind, if patients were to think about whether their ailment really qualifies going to A&E, then perhaps we will continue to see reports of increased performance by the hospital trusts.