A&E waiting times still pose a challenge for health bosses
5:01pm Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
WAITS of more than 12 hours in accident and emergency units in Gwent have been slashed by 90 per cent since April.
But though the proportion of patients waiting more than the key target of four hours to be dealt with has also fallen, under pressure units are still not meeting Welsh Government expectations.
Coping with demands on emergency departments at the hospital 'front door' continues to present a major headache for health boards across Wales, and the latest A&E waiting times figures, for August, show that much remains to be done.
In August there were 67,814 patients presented as 'majors' cases at A&E units in Wales, 4,076 less than in July. At the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall Hospitals' units, the combined difference in August compared to July was 886 patients.
But the monthly reduction, around 30 patients per day, did next to nothing to improve the performance against the four-hour waiting target in A&E.
Ninety-five per cent of patients attending A&E should be dealt with inside four hours, and for all patients attending A&E at the tow hospitals during July and August, performance was similar - almost 92 per cent were dealt with under four hours.
The picture is similar across Wales, with no single health board area hitting the 95 per cent target during July and August, though it is being reached in individual hospitals albeit with little consistency.
The introduction of clinical decisions units (CDUs) in Gwent emergency departments in recent months, is among measures helping to ease demand, but A&E units in general remain vulnerable to surges in attendance.
Waits of more than 12 hours had been creeping up earlier this year, but has been a priority for action by the Welsh Government, and again CDUs are playing a key role in formalising the position for patients who might need a period of observation before a decision is made on whether or not to admit them.
In April, 370 patients waited longer than 12 hours in Gwent A&E units, but the trend has been downward since, and during August the figure was 37. Of the six health board areas with A&E units that was the second lowest, but the aim remains to eliminate such waits.
Comments are closed on this article.