Central Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals hit A&E waiting time targets on TWO weeks in the last year
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
North West London NHS Trust hit government targets for waiting times at its hospital casualty units on just TWO weeks in the last year.
The trust, which manages Central Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals, also had the lowest percentage in London of patients treated within the four-hour target, according to a damning report released today.
The figures compiled by the London Assembly’s Health Committee have fuelled fears that Northwick Park Hospital will be unable to cope with the extra demand predicted once the casualty unit at Central Middlesex Hospital is closed.
The committee used figures obtained from NHS England from November 11 last year to November 3.
To hit targets set by the government hospitals must treat 95 per cent of patients within four hours.
However the trust only managed to treat a total of 84.3 per cent of patients within that time frame – the lowest in London – while missing the targets on 50 out of the 52 weeks.
Last month, Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, sounded the death knell for Central Middlesex‘s A&E department adding it would close as soon as possible despite rigorous opposition.
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Sarah Cox, a health campaigner from Harlesden, told the Times the figures prove why the unit should be kept open.
She said: “I’m surprised it’s quite that bad. I find these figures very, very, very worrying.
“Yet they (health chiefs) want to close the casualty unit at Central Middlesex as soon as possible. These figures prove that Northwick Park will be unable to cope as it’s struggling now with both units open so.
“It can only get worse.”
The London Assembly is calling on NHS England to immediately publish proposals for how hospitals will deal with pressures this winter and wants more information on the Urgent Care Boards which have drawn up the plans.
Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the London Assembly Health Committee, added: “This is extremely worrying and as the winter sets in, with increased costs for heating, we believe emergency health services will struggle even more and patients in need of urgent or emergency care will not be seen quickly enough.
“In the longer term, we also need a much clearer global plan for A&E service reforms across the capital. This would allow us to assess the impact of what is proposed and see whether it is in the best interest of Londoners.”
Tina Benson, the trust’s director of operations, said: “We don’t believe that any patients should wait more than four hours within our A&E and we are working hard to improve this.
“The trust will be opening its brand new £21m state of the art emergency department in 2014 which will be closer to other emergency services, such as acute assessment, intensive treatment units, operating theatres and wards.
“If you have a life-threatening emergency, everything you need will be really close by and you will be able to see the right clinicians for the right treatment at the right time.”