'Zero tolerance' on ambulance hold-ups at Russells Hall Hospital
Hospital bosses in Dudley are to introduce a “zero tolerance” rule over ambulance handovers to A&E keeping patients waiting more than 30 minutes.
More than 5,000 patients were left waiting between 30 and 59 minutes to be handed over to Russells Hall Hospital’s A&E in the last financial year.
Meanwhile, another 916 patients waited for more than 60 minutes during the same time frame.
Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust said it will introduce a zero tolerance policy and will be working with West Midlands Ambulance Trust to address the issue.
Bosses at the trust previously said the ambulance handover targets have been a “challenge” due to demand on the service, but the safety of their patients “is always our priority”.
In the latest figures available for May this year, 338 patients were left waiting between 30 and 59 minutes to be handed over to the A&E department, while 40 waited for more than an hour.
The trust’s board report for July said: “It is still an issue for the organisation. An improvement trajectory had been submitted to NHS Improvement.
"It will be zero tolerance to over 30-minute ambulance delays and the trust is working closely with the ambulance service on this.”
Diane Wake, chief executive for the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patient handover delays are experienced when demand exceeds capacity and we have patients waiting to enter the main department.
"We are working with our system partners to improve this standard.
“Daily monitoring occurs in the trust and with external partners. Our staff are absolutely committed to providing the safest possible care and I wish to thank them for working incredibly hard in challenging circumstances.”
Russells Hall Hospital's A&E department was rated 'inadequate' in a report by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission last year, prompting MPs in the borough to call for the chair of governors Jenni Ord to resign.
Ms Ord has since left her post and Dame Yve Buckland has been brought in to help lead The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.