More patients are waiting longer at Wigan Infirmary A&E

Wigan accident and emergency department

Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department has experienced another drop in the number of patients seen within the four-hour target.

New figures show 82.89 per cent of patients were treated in that time in August, falling from 85.72 per cent June and 89.43 per cent in July.

That was again below the national benchmark of 95 per cent and thresholds agreed with NHS Improvement of 90 per cent for quarter one and 91.5 per cent for quarter two.

The hospital has failed to meet the national target for some time but had seen improvements in previous months, reaching 92.66 per cent in April.

Greater Manchester Health And Social Care Partnership had challenged A&Es to return to 90 per cent.

Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has taken several steps in a bid to do this.

A report for a meeting of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group says the 95 per cent target was met on 12 days during July.

But it also states the performance “deteriorated throughout August and into September”.

Patients being seen by North West Ambulance Service also faced delays in June and July.

It took more than 30 minutes for patients to be handed over from paramedics to hospital staff at Wigan Infirmary in 18.54 per cent of cases in June and 19.38 per cent in July.

That figure rose from 13.93 per cent in May, but was regularly above 20 per cent between October and March.

Across the North West, paramedics responded to 64.67 per cent of urgent “red one” calls in eight minutes in July and 64.17 per cent of “red two” calls, remaining below the 75 per cent target.

They met 89.8 per cent of all red calls in 19 minutes, below the 95 per cent target.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “New national ambulance targets have now come into place to change the way that we respond to patients and make sure that we are getting people the right response the first time.

“Work is also still ongoing with our colleagues at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary with regards to patient handover procedures.

“A number of initiatives, including the placement of an ambulance liaison officer within the emergency department, are in place with the aim to speed up the process and improve the patient’s experience as well as freeing up ambulance crews to attend emergencies.”

The new targets now being used by the ambulance service were introduced in August.

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