Slow improvements to poor A&E waiting times

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ACCIDENT and Emergency waiting times in South Tyneside are still below Government targets – but are slowly improving.

South Tyneside District Hospital’s A&E department in South Shields saw 1,063 patients during the week ending Sunday, February 8.

However, only 84.8 per cent of those visiting the Harton Lane site were either admitted, transferred or discharged within a four-hour period.

This is below the Government’s 95 per cent target and also the national average of 92.9 per cent.

The figure is better than the 74.2 per cent which the department achieved during the first week of the year.

Bosses for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust say they have been swamped by patients in recent weeks.

In a bid to cope with the demand an additional 29-bed winter pressure ward was opened last week.

Steve Williamson, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “While the pressure on services continues, we have seen some progress due to the magnificent efforts of our staff and the introduction of a raft of measures. These include the opening of an additional, temporary winter pressures ward, which has been particularly successful in creating extra inpatient capacity.

“Everyone is working incredibly flexibly to provide the best possible patient experience, which is a reflection of the constant focus of our staff on delivering a caring, compassionate service to all our patients, whatever the circumstances, and I would like to say a huge thank you to them.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvez