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Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham had worst A&E waits in the country according to NHS England

21 February 2014
by Jenni Horn

Figures show almost one in four patients waited more than four hours to be seen at the emergency department at the beginning of February.

According to NHS England,1,815 people visited the emergency department between February 3 to February 9.

Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham

Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham

Of these 414 patients (22.8%) waited more than four hours.

Emergency departments are supposed to see 95% of patients within four hours as part of targets set by the government.

But Medway has missed this target every week since the start of 2014.

The year started badly, with 26.8% of patients waiting more than four hours in the first week of January.

Despite improvements during the rest of the month, with only 7.5% waiting more than four hours in the third week of January, the numbers have risen again in February.

NHS England data

NHS England data

A spokesman for Medway NHS Foundation Trust apologised.

She said: “The emergency department has faced unprecedented levels of pressure this winter and we apologise to patients who have experienced long waits.

“The department was designed to treat up to 50,000 patients a year; today it is treating 90,000 and rising.

“We have put in place a number of initiatives to support the flow of emergency patients through the hospital.

“This includes the introduction of the senior treatment and assessment route (STAR) to ensure all patients arriving by ambulance are seen within 15 minutes of arrival. We have also increased the number of medical and nursing staff.

"The emergency department has faced unprecedented levels of pressure" - Medway NHS Foundation Trust

“In addition, there is a daily executive director-led review of the department, as well as executive director presence on site seven days a week, to strengthen leadership arrangements.

“Proposals for remodelling and refurbishing the department, including the creation of an acute assessment unit, were approved at the end of last month.

“This will see the department expanding to create increased capacity and compliance, improved waiting areas and a dedicated main entrance.

“We intend to open the majority of the acute assessment unit by December.”

Plans for a £5m redevelopment of Medway’s A&E were agreed in January. The department was branded as totally unsuitable in the Keogh report last year.

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