A&E waiting times keep on improving

Wigan A & E
Wigan A & E

THE recent crisis in emergency departments across the country is continuing to ease, latest NHS figures have revealed.

Wigan Infirmary led the way in Greater Manchester last week and was the only department to hit the 95 per cent target for the week ending January 25.

A&E departments are expected to have patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

NHS England statistics show 93 per cent of patients were treated within the timeline, up from 92.4 the previous week.

Some 7,500 patients waited more than four hours for admission, which NHS England said was a “significant” decrease from the 8,900 recorded in the previous week and 12,000 the week before.

NHS England’s director of operations and delivery, Dr Sarah Pinto-Duschinsky, described the figures as “encouraging” and said the improvement had been achieved despite a week-on-week increase in numbers of patients attending casualty.

Last week, Dr Stephen Gulliford of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation NHS Trust said residents had been heeding advice to consider other services rather than visit A&E with minor ailments.

He added high standards had been met due to “the hard work and dedication of WWL staff.”

Dr Pinto-Duschinsky said: “A&E performance continues to climb. It is encouraging for the third week running that waiting times have improved and well over nine out of ten patients are being seen within four hours.

“This has been achieved despite increases in the number of A&E attendances and emergency admissions which are up week-on-week and up on the same week last year, but below the extreme record levels we experienced over the Christmas period.

“With severe weather and snow in many parts of the country, we are urging people, particularly the elderly, to stay warm and consult their pharmacist or GP.”