Whittington and Homerton Hospital missing crucial waiting time targets
A and Es handling the most serious emergency cases across London are missing crucial waiting time targets, new analysis has shown. Almost all of the capital’s NHS Trusts running A and E departments failed to hit the Government’s target - to see 95% of patients within four hours - in every month over the past year.
In Islington The Whittington Hospital Trust missed the target in every month. Homerton University Trust Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was London’s best performing Trust but still failed to hit the target in seven months of the year.
The Government’s 95% target includes patients at A&E, specialist, and urgent care centres. However, the latest NHS data shows that between November 2015 and October 2016 almost all hospital A&E departments (excluding specialist and GP led urgent care centres) failed to see 95% of patients within four hours. Patients across London waited longer than four hours on 445,455 separate occasions in the last year. In Islington, 12,002 patients spent more than four hours in The Whittington Hospital Trust before being seen, 6,872 patients spent more than four hours in Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust before being seen.
Homerton was London’s best performing Trust but still failed to hit the target in seven months of the year. Hillingdon hospital, which failed to hit the target for a single month, also failed to see over 40% of A&E patients within four hours in both August and October this year.
There are further cuts in the new Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which are expected to leave a £4.3 billion shortfall by 2021. A&E departments at Ealing, Charing Cross and King George’s have been earmarked for closure, whilst there are proposals in South West London to close one of the five acute hospitals - all of which run A&E departments. Ms Arnold said it “isn’t viable” to expect Trusts to meet growing pressure whilst simultaneously cutting their funding.
Local Assembly Member, Jennette Arnold AM, said:
“These figures show that we went into an A&E crisis last winter and never really emerged. Plans for further closures need to be urgently reconsidered or this situation is only going to get worse.
“The NHS, local councils and adult social care are under extreme financial pressure. But pursuing A&E and hospital closures before better alternatives are in place will not rectify the situation.
“The Government’s unrelenting squeeze on the NHS is really taking its toll in Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest Expecting Trusts to meet growing pressure whilst cutting their funding just isn’t viable. We know that NHS staff are working incredibly hard to look after patients, but our NHS needs to be properly funded and supported - Jeremy Hunt needs to take action and he needs to take it now.”