Long waits at Wigan's A&E department as fewer than half of patients seen in four hours

Thousands of patients are waiting for hours to be seen at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department, as staff treat fewer than half of people in the target time.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

NHS England data has revealed long delays faced by patients seeking care at the unit, as well as other hospitals nationwide.

The NHS is under pressure as it deals with the backlog caused by the pandemic, but demand during the traditionally busy winter months now seems to be compounding the problem.

Read More
Dad struggling with his mental health died hours after asking hospital staff for...
Wigan InfirmaryWigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At Wigan’s A&E , just 46 per cent of patients were seen within the target time of four hours in November – down from 48.4 per cent in October and from 55.3 per cent in November last year. This was the worst performance since at least 2015.

Leigh Walk-In Centre saw 98.7 per cent of patients in that time, which pushed the overall performance for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) up to 64.8 per cent.

The operational standard is that at least 95 per cent of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

A total of 68.9 per cent of patients in England were seen within four hours in A&Es last month, down from 69.3 per cent in October and the worst performance on record.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There were 12,529 people seeking care at the borough’s casualty departments last month – 8,062 at A&E and 4,467 at the walk-in centre – which was down from 12,625 in October.

There were 2,588 emergency admissions, which was just above the 2,563 the previous month.

But once the decision to admit was made, 1,336 patients had to wait for more than four hours for a bed and 199 waited for more than 12 hours. However, this was fewer than the 1,372 people waiting for four hours and 221 for 12 hours in October.

Nationally, the data shows 37,837 people waited longer than 12 hours in November, down 14 per cent from the record 43,792 in October but still the second-highest monthly total in data going back to August 2010.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The number waiting at least four hours for a bed dropped from a record 150,922 in October to 143,949 in November, again the second-highest on record.

WWL’s chief executive Silas Nicholls said: “This is absolutely not the position we want to be in for our patients or our staff and we are profoundly grateful of the efforts of our staff for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure our patients receive the highest standards of care possible throughout this difficult time.

"Essential services are available, and we would always encourage people who require urgent medical help to come forward as soon as possible, but it is also our responsibility to make sure people know where to go.”

He urged people to consider alternatives to A&E if their condition is not limb or life-threatening, such as NHS 111, their GP, a pharmacy or urgent treatment centre.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Nicholls said the trust was working with partners to look at increasing capacity, and the same-day emergency care unit’s opening hours and capacity had already been expanded.

There was also a “strong focus” on safely discharging patients, so people can recover at home and beds are available for others.