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Wigan A&E waiting times see dramatic improvement

The Wigan A&E waiting room
The Wigan A&E waiting room

Hospital bosses hope the improved waiting times at Wigan Infirmary A&E will continue as winter approaches.

There has been a dramatic upturn in the number of patients seen at the unit within four hours in recent months. It followed a long period of the hospital failing to meet the required standard and even being ranked as one of the worst performing A&Es in the country.

New figures from NHS England show 91.6 per cent of patients were seen within four hours by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust in August: above the national average of 89.7 per cent and an improvement on the previous month’s performance of 90.4 per cent. But it remains below the 95 per cent Government target.

A&E saw 90.9 per cent of patients in four hours, rising from 89.5 per cent in July, while 100 per cent of patients going to Leigh’s walk-in centre were seen within that time.

The summer is traditionally a quieter period for casualty. But the trust warned people via social media last week that the A&E unit was “extremely busy” with long waits to be seen - a message repeatedly issued last winter.

Director of operations Mary Fleming said: “A&E performance is one of the indicators we use to assure ourselves the hospital is operating at safe levels, so to perform better than the national average against the A&E four-hour standard represents good outcomes for patients and is testimony to the hard work and committed teams in the A&E department, across the organisation and the system as a whole.”

The data from NHS England shows 6,948 people went to Wigan A&E in August and 590 went to the walk-in centre. There were 2,496 emergency admissions via A&E and 442 from other sources. A total of 211 patients had to wait for more than four hours from the decision to admit being made to the actual admission, but no-one waited for more than 12 hours.