Health trust continuing to meet A&E targets despite ongoing pressures

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington.Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington.
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington.
Patients are being seen in A&E within national targets despite unprecedented pressures, new figures reveal.

North East and North Cumbria trusts are ranked top nationally for performance against key waiting times for A&E and treatment within 18 weeks.

The data also shows the region’s NHS is performing above the national average across most key waiting time standards.

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Despite unprecedented pressures, data for July shows that 81.7 per cent of patients spent less than four hours from arrival to transfer, admission or discharge in the region’s A&E departments – compared to a national average of 77.7 per cent.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was ranked first in the country with 92 per cent of patients spending less than four hours in A&E.

There are also some signs of recovery too with the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks starting to reduce in recent months and the percentage of people being treated within 18 weeks increasing across the North East and North Cumbria.

Northumbria Healthcare has ranked first in the country with 88.9 per cent of patients treated within 18 weeks, compared to an England average of 68.8% and a national standard of 92%.

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Dame Jackie Daniel and Lyn Simpson are joint chairs of the North East and North Cumbria Provider Collaborative, involving ambulance, hospital/community and mental health trusts across the region.

Dame Jackie Daniel said: “To see trusts in our region performing in the top nationally and our region performing above the England average is a testament to all our front-line teams who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months in the most challenging of circumstances.

"I would like to express our thanks to each and every one of them.

“This also reflects the collaborative working across our region too.

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“However, there is still a way for us to go before we get back to where we were before the pandemic, and we know that many people are waiting longer for treatment than any of us would want, which is frustrating and worrying for them.

“We do still face many challenges as we continue to adhere to strict infection control procedure, address the backlog that has built up, and more recently we have seen unprecedent demand for services too.

"I would like to reassure people we are doing everything we can to tackle these challenges.”

Lyn added: “Our communities are always at the heart of everything we do and we don’t underestimate the personal impact on patients and their loved ones where treatment has been delayed.

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"That’s why we are all committed to working together across all our organisations to prioritise those patients with the most urgent clinical need, those waiting the longest and on ensuring equal access to treatment for those parts of our communities which have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Lyn added: “I would like to thank all our communities for their support for the NHS over the past year.

"Even doing the simple things makes a difference so please keep it up. Our staff do appreciate it.

“The NHS is here if you need us, so please don’t delay seeking advice and support, but do think about what the best services is for your needs - whether that’s your pharmacist, GP,, and only if your condition is life threatening, your emergency department.”