Waiting times are still too long at Wigan's A&E department

Wigan Infirmary accident and emergency department
Wigan Infirmary accident and emergency department
Share this article

More patients are being seen within the target time at Wigan’s A&E unit - but it continues to be one of the worst performing in the country.


New figures released by NHS England show 71.2 per cent of the 6,839 patients were treated within four hours by A&E staff in April.

This was an improvement on the 60.2 per cent seen in March, but placed it as the 14th worst performing trust out of 133 across the country.

Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s overall performance, when waiting times for Leigh walk-in centre were included, was 73.6 per cent - the third worst in the country.

However, it was again an increase from the 63.7 per cent achieved in March, the lowest score in the country.

The NHS standard is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours, but the trust has failed to meet this since 2015. The performance for all trusts across England was 88.5 per cent in April.

Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department - as well as other hospitals across the NHS - struggled to cope with demand over the winter months.

Trust chiefs have repeatedly urged people to stay away and seek treatment elsewhere if possible.

One alternative is Leigh walk-in centre, which saw 644 of its 648 patients in four hours in April.

More patients being admitted to the hospital, especially those over the age of 75, has previously been cited as one of the reasons for increased waiting times.

The data shows there were 2,284 emergency admissions via A&E and 481 other emergency admissions in April.

A total of 355 patients had to wait more than four hours from the decision to admit being made to admission.

A trust spokesman said: “The trust is continuing to work with partners within the Wigan urgent and emergency care system in order to improve our A&E performance and ensure patients are treated in the most appropriate setting.

“Through the implementation of new initiatives and partnership working we saw an improvement in our performance in April, which has continued in May.

“The introduction of the primary care and minor injuries unit has proved successful and continues to support in deflecting patients from A&E who require treatment for minor illnesses and injuries.

“We have also ensured that we have senior clinicians based in A&E at times of increased pressure to ensure that only patients requiring urgent diagnostic tests and treatment are admitted to an acute hospital bed.

“Patient safety is our main priority and we would like to thank our staff who have worked extremely hard over the extended winter period to ensure we provide the best quality services to our patients.”