Rise in Wigan A&E waiting times

Mary Fleming, director of operations and performance, and Dr Shariq Ahmed, clinical director in the Accident and Emergency department, have been working to reduce waiting times
Mary Fleming, director of operations and performance, and Dr Shariq Ahmed, clinical director in the Accident and Emergency department, have been working to reduce waiting times

More people are facing waits of longer than four hours to be seen at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department - despite improvements in recent months.

New data published by NHS England shows a drop in the number of patients being seen within the target time.

The A&E department saw 85.6 per cent of people in four hours in September.

That rose to 86.8 per cent across Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, which includes Leigh Walk-In Centre.

It was a drop in performance compared to recent months, when there had been a dramatic improvement in the number of people being seen on time.

The trust saw 94.8 per cent of people in four hours in June, 90.4 per cent in July and 91.6 per cent in August.

It was the closest it had been to meeting the Government’s target of 95 per cent for a long time.

The A&E department had previously been struggling to cope with demand and was even ranked as one of the worst performing A&Es in the country earlier this year.

The NHS data shows 88.9 per cent of patients across England were seen in four hours last month, dropping to 83 per cent for type one units such as Wigan Infirmary.

There were 2,676 emergency admissions to the trust last month, with 279 patients waiting more than four hours from the decision to admit to admission.

Health bosses have been working to improve waiting times, particularly ahead of the busy winter months.

Patients are being seen at the primary care centre or minor injuries unit instead if they do not need emergency care, freeing up A&E staff.

There are 10 new step-up beds and a community response team refers some patients to GPs and community services, rather than taking them to hospital.

Bosses are continuing to ask people to seek treatment elsewhere if possible, with social media posts on Wednesday saying A&E was “extremely busy”.