County Hospital's A&E performance slumps to new low
Nearly one third of patients had to wait longer than four hours to be dealt with at County Hospital's A&E during December as the hospital endured one of its worst winters in years.
Figures have revealed only 68 per cent of people were seen, treated, admitted, transferred or discharged in time during the month when bosses declared the site at Weston Road, Stafford was 'full'.
It also saw County buck the usual trend of performing worse than its sister hospital Royal Stoke, run by the same trust.
Although the north Staffordshire site also clearly struggled only dealing with 72 per cent of its patients on time. The nationally set NHS target is 95 per cent.
Combined, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust saw 19,743 patients across the two sites in December with 71 per cent dealt with in four hours - its worst performance in nearly four years.
Paula Clark, chief executive, said: “During December 2017 there was a substantial increase in the number of inpatients at County Hospital.
“This along with the acuity of the patients and high numbers waiting to be discharged, had a clear impact on our ability to admit patients.
“This is a whole health system responsibility and we will continue to work closely with our partners to address these challenges.
“This severe and sustained pressure remains a significant challenge but we are doing everything we can to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible.”
It comes ahead of a demonstration in Market Square on Saturday by Support Stafford Hospital campaigners holding their first major event in the town for more than a year to show support for staff.
A group spokesman said: "This year has seen an unprecedented winter crisis in the NHS with UHNM being described by one consultant as experiencing 'third world' conditions.
"When the downgrade and removal of services from Stafford was proposed Support Stafford Hospital campaigners were vical in their condemnation of the proposals and adamant that Stoke could not cope.