Northwick Park Hospital misses A&E waiting time targets for an entire year
- Credit: Archant
Hospitals in North West London have failed to meet A&E waiting time targets for an entire year, figures reveal.
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWHT), which runs Northwick Park Hospital and Ealing Hospital, has consistently missed the government target of treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours.
The figures show 85.5pct of patients at LNWHT received care within the four-hour waiting time in the last week of November this year.
The data marks an improvement on the trust’s waiting times for November last year, when the figure dropped below just 68 per cent of patients being seen within four hours, making it one of the worst-performing trusts in the UK.
A spokeswoman for LNWHT said: “We are not unique in experiencing pressures on our A&E performance.
“I would like to reassure patients that their care is not being compromised, while we are busy and some patients are waiting longer than we would like, all patients are assessed by a member of the A&E team when they arrive and those with the highest need are prioritised for treatment.”
The data comes after a report into NHS North West London chaired by Michael Mansfield QC blasted a decision to close A&E departments at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospital and downgrade other centres last year as “deeply flawed.”
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In a damning report, the Independent Health Care Commission called for an immediate halt to North West London NHS’s £1billion “Shaping a Healthier Future” programme which has seen several hospitals across North London downgraded to “local hospital” status, closure of several acute provision centres and scrapping of specific services provision.
The report describes the reform programme as a threat to “the fundamental principles of a universal NHS”.
The commission’s final report, published on December 2, also concludes there is no “completed or up-to-date” business plan for the controversial change programme and states that healthcare providers are struggling to cope with increasing population size in North West London.
Key findings include:
- The programme does not represent value for money and “there is no realistic prospect of achieving good quality accessible healthcare for all” if the Shaping a Healthier Future programme is implemented in its current form.
- “Any further implementation is likely to exacerbate a deteriorating situation and should be halted immediately.”
The report also recommends:
-The National Audit Office should undertake a value for money assessment of NWL NHS’s reform programme.
-Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals must retain full ‘blue light’ A&E services for the foreseeable future.
-The decision to close the maternity unit at Ealing hospital should be reversed “with immediate effect.”
In a statement on the report’s findings, a spokeswoman for the trust said: “Patients are already seeing benefits since we started implementing our improvement programme two years ago. More than a million people now have better access to GPs with more appointments available over weekdays and weekends, and we now have eleven community hubs open across North West London, which provide a range of health and social care services in one place, closer to people’s homes.
“Part of the improvement plan includes additional investment to modernise and increase capacity in our hospitals and community sites. This will help the NHS provide the best possible care to our local communities.”