Hospital moves to slash A&E waits

DETERMINED hospital bosses are today looking at ways to slash A&E waiting times after being summoned to a meeting with the Department of Health.Failure to meet the government's target waiting times in March resulted in a team of senior bosses from Ipswich Hospital having to travel to London to explain what was going wrong.

DETERMINED hospital bosses are today looking at ways to slash A&E waiting times after being summoned to a meeting with the Department of Health.

Failure to meet the government's target waiting times in March resulted in a team of senior bosses from Ipswich Hospital having to travel to London to explain what was going wrong.

On Thursday the Evening Star revealed that only 93pc of patients were seen within four hours during March - despite the government stating that 98pc should be seen within that time.

The meeting took place last month and was attended by Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of the East Suffolk primary care trusts, Ian Scott, the hospital's medical director, Chris Dooley, the acting chief executive, Andrew Reed, the incoming chief executive and Claire Barlow, director of operations.

Speaking at the hospital trust's board meeting on Friday Mr Dooley said: "We had fallen back from a relatively good position in December and January and we were asked to show how we were going to recover that position.

"By the time of the meeting we'd actually had two weeks where we were meeting the 98pc target and have maintained it since.

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"I think there were some special reasons why it didn't happen in March - not least the rise in emergency attendances.

"It was also the month where a lot of resources and attention were being diverted in to other issues, i.e. dealing with the publicity surrounding MRSA."

Andrew Reed, incoming chief executive, said: "I thought it was a very good meeting. Obviously one we should probably be concerned about, but I think the team handled it well.

"I think we got across the message that the trusts and the PCTs are working very closely together and that this is a target we care about.

"It was not a meeting any of us would've liked to have attended but I think the outcome was very positive."

The hospital have now produced a detailed action plan looking at how they can improve 'patient flow' through the hospital, which will be distributed to staff and monitored closely.

They have also asked for advice from national experts - Professor Sir George Alberti, the national clinical director for emergency access, will be visiting the hospital in July.

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