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A&E waiting times at Suffolk hospitals improve but still fail to meet NHS standard

PUBLISHED: 10:42 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 21 June 2018

West Suffolk Hospital has improved its A&E waiting times Picture: GREGG BROWN

West Suffolk Hospital has improved its A&E waiting times Picture: GREGG BROWN

Waiting times for patients visiting A&E at Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals have greatly improved, monthly figures have revealed.

West Suffolk Hospital received an outstanding rating from the CQC in January Picture: GREGG BROWNWest Suffolk Hospital received an outstanding rating from the CQC in January Picture: GREGG BROWN

Statistics for May show that while Ipswich and West Suffolk, in Bury St Edmunds, have not hit the NHS standard of seeing 95% of patients within four hours of arrival in A&E, both have improved from April.

Colchester Hospital, which was only lifted out of special measures in November, managed to hit the national target for the third month in a row.

The Essex hospital saw 97.5% patients within the four-hour window, compared with 95.6% in April.

Ipswich, which will merge with Colchester this summer, saw 91.7% of patients within four hours at the emergency department in May.

Ipswich Hospital ha improved A&E waiting times Picture: PHIL MORLEYIpswich Hospital ha improved A&E waiting times Picture: PHIL MORLEY

This was a vast improvement on the Heath Road hospital’s figures for April, when 88.3% of patients in A&E were seen within the time target.

West Suffolk, which was rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC in January, achieved a 93.7% rate, compared with 85% in April.

The figures from NHS England show the total A&E attendances and emergency admissions rose at all three hospitals in May compared to April.

All three hospitals were also above the national average of 90.4% for May.

Helen Beck, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We strive to meet the 95% A&E performance standard and continue to improve in this area, with 93.7% of our patients being seen within four hours in May 2018, above the average in England of 90.4%.

“This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff who work tirelessly to ensure a good, timely service.

“We are committed to providing a high-quality service and don’t want any of our patients waiting unnecessarily, but we will always prioritise our sickest patients to ensure they receive the care they need.”

Jan Ingle, head of communications for Ipswich and Colchester, said: “Keeping our promise to patients that you will be seen within four hours is very important to us.

“These latest figures show that we are achieving this consistently at Colchester Hospital.

“We have a little way to go at Ipswich Hospital to meet and exceed this national standard.”

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