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Russells Hall Hospital A&E waiting times 'not acceptable'

By Richard Guttridge | Dudley | Health | Published:

More than a quarter of patients who attended A&E at Russells Hall during a single month waited more than four hours to be seen, new figures have shown.

Russells Hall Hospital

Just 73 per cent were seen within four hours during November, way below the 95 per cent national NHS target and among the worst performing in the region.

New figures showed the hospital was struggling to cope with the number of patients coming into A&E towards the end of last year.

Dudley MP Mike Wood said the amount of patients being kept waiting was 'not acceptable'.

MP Mike Wood

Data for November, the most recent available, revealed long waits for patients arriving for emergency treatment.

Of 9,147 who attended during the month, 2,467 waited more than four hours.

The percentage figure was the lowest during 2018 but reflected a trend at the hospital during the year when the amount of patients seen within the target time hovered around the three-quarters mark. Between April and November the average was 77.5 per cent.

Russells Hall bosses said getting patients treated on time 'remains challenging'.

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Mr Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South, who called on Russells Hall governors to quit in the wake of serious failings in the A&E department last year, said the situation must improve.

He said: "Clearly these figures are not acceptable. I have been critical of the management and governance of the hospital but in fairness the leadership do recognise there is a problem and are taking action to address it.

"Additional Government money for Russells Hall was announced before Christmas for the A&E as part of the winter pressures funding and they need to make sure that money is being spent where it is going to be effective, on people waiting less time and getting care when they need it."

Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "Patients are always prioritised in order of clinical need to make sure that acutely unwell patients receive the urgent medical attention they require as soon as possible.

"We saw an increase in numbers attending ED (emergency department) in November compared to the previous months and also to November 2017. This included a much higher level of people brought in by ambulance which resulted in a higher level of admissions.

"Everyone is doing their upmost to ensure we look after the patients and we continue to work hard to improve the time that patients wait."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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