WAITING times for accident and emergency patients in South Tyneside are still below the national average, new figures reveal.
Statistics from NHS England show that in the week ending Sunday, May 3, 1,163 people visited South Tyneside District Hospital’s emergency ward for treatment.
This is a great result and reflects the continuous efforts of everyone across our Trust to provide the best possible care in a timely way.Steve Williamson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
Of those patients, 91.4 per cent of people were seen in under four hours.
The national average is currently 94.1 per cent, still below the Government target of 95 per cent.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer Steve Williamson said: “We experienced some challenges with the four-hour A&E performance target at the very end of April due to extremely high attendance on some days.
“However, since then, we have exceeded the 95 per cent target for patients in A&E to be seen within four hours on many of the days.
“This is a great result and reflects the continuous efforts of everyone across our Trust to provide the best possible care in a timely way.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has also released figures which it says show the strain A&E wards are being put under.
For the week ending May 8, 2011, there were no patients who had to wait between four and 12 hours from decision to admit to actual admission at South Tyneside District Hospital.
However, for the week ending May 8 this year, a total of 19 patients had to wait between those length of times.
RCN regional director Glenn Turp said: “If anybody tries to tell you that the NHS is not feeling the strain, then frankly they are living in cloud-cuckoo land.”
In response to the RCN figures, Mr Williamson added: “In common with NHS trusts up and down the country, we have experienced exceptionally high demand on our services in recent months.”