Royal Derby hits the four-hour target for seeing A&E patients
BOSSES at the Royal Derby Hospital said they were bucking the national trend of keeping patients waiting too long in its accident and emergency department.
For seven months running, until October, the hospital has met the national standard of seeing 95% of patients in the A&E department within four hours.
It is a target the city's hospitals trust missed during the past financial year.
It comes as a survey – released yesterday by national health watchdog the Care Quality Commission – said more people in the UK were waiting longer at A&E departments.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Staff at the Royal Derby Hospital said that, over the past year, they had introduced new systems to help reduce A&E waiting times.
These include opening a £60,000 centre in October – where patients arriving in A&E in need of specialised, and not immediate, treatment could be referred.
A computer system has also been developed so A&E staff can see when ambulances are due to arrive and what condition the patient is in.
And, in the New Year, the Royal Derby Hospital is among others in the East Midlands which will get airport-style scanners in its A&E department.
It will be used on trolleys programmed with information about the patient it is carrying – so the details can be sent straight to the computer system.
David Ainsworth, general manager for A&E, said: "We have been looking at every single step of the A&E department to work out how we can reduce waiting times.
"This includes things like reducing the amount of patients on trolleys when it isn't actually necessary, so the space is clearer and the flow of patients better.
"We've even developed pneumatic chutes in two parts of the department, which we use to send blood samples up to the laboratory on the fifth floor for testing. Staff then check the computer for results."
"At the same, we're always asking ourselves: 'Is the quality there?' We never forget that treating patients with dignity and respect is our top priority."
Last year, 116,758 patients went to A&E and staff said there was a 5% year-on-year increase in attendances.
Patients who arrived at A&E by ambulance are initially assessed at a section of the department called the "Pitstop". Here, staff can order blood test, pain relief and drips, among other things, while determining where the patient needs to go to next.
Some patients are taken to the six-bed resuscitation room – where immediately life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and major injuries are treated.
There is also the majors and minors sections of the department – dealing with patients with serious conditions and walking wounded respectively.
Helen Allen, senior nurse in A&E, said: "The layout of the department is so important in making sure everything flows.
"Even things like having a open-plan environment means we can see everything which is going on."
But hospital staff said it was vital people who could be treated by their GP or by calling the non-emergency NHS 111 number did not go to A&E.
About 340 A&E patients at the Royal Derby Hospital were also among those who took part in the national CQC survey and 97% said they were treated with respect and dignity while 94% had confidence in their doctors and nurses.