Waiting times ‘set to see turnabout’

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WAITING times for A&E patients in South Tyneside have been below Government targets for 20 consecutive weeks.

Only 78.3 per cent of patients turning up at South Tyneside District Hospital’s A&E department last week were either discharged, transferred or admitted within four hours.

This is below the government’s 95 per cent target and also below the previous week’s 84.8 per cent figure.

Hospital bosses at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust say the dip is due to trauma services being under pressure and a large volume of patients needing surgery.

However, they’re confident that next week’s figures will be an improvement due to patients and staff being relocated from Primrose Hill Hospital in Jarrow, to the Harton Lane site earlier this month.

Steve Williamson, chief operating officer, said: “Last week we continued to experience significant pressures in the system, which unfortunately resulted in us being unable to hit the 95 per cent A&E four hour wait target.

“As well as the pressures on our A&E and inpatient beds, our trauma services were also under particular pressure that week and the team had to work very flexibly to create extra trauma operating capacity to manage the volume of patients needing surgery.

“This week, we are now beginning to see the benefits of relocating beds from Primrose Hill Hospital to the South Tyneside District Hospital which has created better flexibility”.