New figures show that North East A&E departments are performing above the national average, but below targets set by the NHS.
NHS England are looking for 95 per cent of A&E patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival, but the national average currently stands at only 86.2 per cent.
Of the five major North-East trusts, namely; Sunderland, Gateshead, Northumbria, South–Tyneside and Newcastle, all were operating above the national average, but were all below the 95 per cent target.
The most successful trust was Gateshead, operating at 94.8 per cent, while the least successful was Northumbria, operating at 87 per cent.
In a press release, Northumbria asked the public to help improve the figures by only using A&E when absolutely necessary, stating:
“On February 3-5 more than 7,000 people attended major A&E departments across the North East, however, only less than 3,000 – 38 per cent – actually needed to be admitted to a hospital bed. Many had less serious problems which could have been most appropriately looked after in the community.
“Anyone attending a major A&E department, or calling for an emergency 999 ambulance with a minor problem, should expect a long wait as clinical teams must prioritise those with the most pressing needs.”
Meanwhile, Gateshead named their “winter escalation plan” as the reason they may have been more successful then some of the other trusts in the area, the four point plan being outlined as:
- Trying to reduce inappropriate attendances by communicating with the public through the NHS winter campaign to encourage them to use services responsibly and seek help from their local pharmacist, NHS 111 or GP surgery.
- Closely monitoring the level of patients who are staying with us, and continuing to focus on improving discharge times working with key partners.
- Continuing to promote bank shifts and encourage staff to offer additional hours.
- Using a paramedic coordinator to improve patient flow, ambulance delays and turnaround times.
They also encouraged the public to use the emergency services more “responsibly and appropriately”, asking them:
“For more minor medical issues please make an appointment with your GP, access your out of hours GP service, call 111 or visit your local pharmacist.”