More than 200 patients face 12-hour trolley waits in Staffordshire hospital

More than 200 patients suffered nightmare 12-hour trolley waits in a single month at a Staffordshire hospital – when the national target is zero.

royal stoke hospital
Royal Stoke Hospital

The alarming number was recorded in November at Royal Stoke, which is run by the same trust as Stafford’s County Hospital.

Bosses have now commissioned a review into the impact on patients of such long waits.

It comes as University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), which runs the site as well as County Hospital, confirmed two of its top bosses are to leave the organisation in the coming weeks.

The latest figures confirmed in November there were 237 12-hour trolley waits for the month – the time between when the decision is made to admit a patient from A&E to the time they are actually admitted.

Stafford Hospital
Stafford's County Hospital

A statement from a trust performance report said: “UHNM has reported 237, 12-hour trolley waits in November, all of which occurred at Royal Stoke.

"It has been agreed with the commissioners to carry out a review, as part of a Contract Performance Notice, to look at the impact of 12 hour reaches.”

Part of the problem is that not enough beds are available in the hospital to admit patients from A&E. In November Royal Stoke had an average of 158 patients medically fit to be discharged when the target is 67.

Paula Clark, Chief Executive said: “At the time, we were continuing to care for hundreds of people who were medically fit to leave our hospitals but were unable to do so due to a lack of suitable care packages at home or within the community, which the reflects the strain that all local services are under.

“This had a significant effect on the number of patients waiting in our A&E Departments for longer than 12 hours before being admitted to a ward.

"Some significant progress has been made in recent weeks, but the Trust remains exceptionally busy.”

Across hospitals nearly one in four patients is having to wait longer than four hours to be dealt with – 76.1 per cent success against four-hour benchmark against a target of 95 per cent.

Yesterday the trust confirmed chief nurse Liz Rix is to leave the hospital after seven years, while medical director Robert Courteney-Harris is also set to retire in March after serving for 20 years.

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