Watford General Hospital plans to tackle long A&E waiting times
PUBLISHED: 11:59 01 February 2020
Emergency doctors in Watford General treated up to 366 patients in a single day over the festive period, St Albans councillors have been told.
During a 12-month period the hospital's emergency department, which is run by the West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT), now sees more than 100,000 patients - an average of around 290 a day, with 366 on the busiest day.
The figures were revealed to a meeting of the St Albans Health and Wellbeing Partnership on Tuesday, January 28.
WHHT's divisional general manager Stephanie Johnson said the number of patients turning up at A&E was increasing by around 7.5 per cent, but that the hospital was still bucking the national trend and decreasing waiting times.
Data from March last year shows that just 77 per cent of patients at A&E were seen within four hours, compared to a national median of 84. However more recent data, from December, shows that 82 per cent of patients are seen within four hours, compared to a national median of 79.
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Stephanie said: "Although not meeting the national standard we are bucking the trend in improving performance. We have had a very strong improvement plan in place that has contributed to this improving performance."
She added that the hospital had implemented a number of measures designed to improve the flow of patients and treat them as quickly as possible.
These include an ambulance liaison officer to help with patients brought in by ambulance. An ambulatory care unit runs alongside for patients who can be treated within a day, rather than having to be admitted.
Senior consultants, in fields such as general medicine, cardiology and respiratory conditions, also spend time in the department to cut down delays. Further measures planned include a CT scanner at A&E, the opening of an urgent treatment centre and expansion of the medical assessment unit.
Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are also trying to increase accessibility to GP appointments.
Cllr Josie Madoc, who had to wait 10 hours for her father to be admitted at Watford General in December, praised the care he received at the hospital.
She said: "The care he received during that time was outstanding. He was treated extremely well."