More patients go to borough's A&E unit

Waiting times at Wigan Infirmarys A&E department have improved in recent months
Waiting times at Wigan Infirmarys A&E department have improved in recent months
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Waiting times at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department were better than the national average last month, as its improved performance continues.

New data released by NHS England show 90.4 per cent of patients were seen within four hours by Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

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That was above the performance of 89.3 per cent for all trusts in England, but a drop from 94.8 per cent in June, which was the highest figure for some time.

When looking at just Wigan Infirmary’s A&E unit, 89.5 per cent of people were seen in the target time.

Mary Fleming, director of operations and performance at the trust, said there was a rise in the number of patients attending A&E in July.

While it was not known if it was caused by the recent hot weather, she said the borough has an ageing population, many of whom have multiple health problems which can be exacerbated by the heat.

Ms Fleming said: “Patient safety remains a priority which is why successful partnership working with commissioners and colleagues in primary care, community and local authority has resulted in a number of successful schemes introduced over the summer period aimed at deflecting patients away from A&E so the more poorly patients can be treated much quicker.

“Our continued improvement in performance would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of all staff across the trust and our partners across the health and social care system.”

There has been a marked improvement in waiting times at the trust in recent months.

Before that, it had struggled to see a high number of patients within four hours and received the worst score in the country in March.

But there has been a real turnaround and in June the performance was just shy of the 95 per cent national standard, which it has not met since October 2015.

The data shows 7,557 people attended the A&E unit in July and 791 had to wait more than four hours to be seen, treated and either admitted, transferred or discharged.

There were 2,551 emergency admissions via A&E and 523 from other sources.

A wait of more than four hours between the decision to admit and admission was faced by 185 patients, but none waited more than 12 hours.

All of the 668 people who attended Leigh Walk-In Centre were seen within four hours.