Health watchdog says Sheffield patients are getting quicker access to emergency care
Patients attending the Accident and Emergency Department at the Northern General Hospital are getting quicker access to emergency care says a report published today by the NHS watchdog, the Healthcare Commission.
The major review which covers all urgent and emergency services in the UK, has for the first time assessed how the whole emergency care system works together. The review includes ambulance services, A&E, out-of-hours GP services, NHS Direct, urgent care provided by GPs, and urgent care centres including walk-in centres and minor injuries units.
The Commission has awarded a rating for these services within 152 localities, set by the boundaries of the primary care trusts (PCTs), the bodies responsible for commissioning local NHS services.
The review found that Sheffield was rated as being ‘better’ performing’.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for the part of the emergency care system which involves diagnosis treatment at the A&E department.
The review found that nationally the number of people dealt with within four hours in A&E has increased from 91.2%in 2003/04 to 97.9% in 2007/08. This month the A&E department at the Northern General Hospital dealt with over 99% of patients who visited the A&E department within the national target of four hours.
Anna Walker, the Commission’s Chief Executive, said: “Urgent and emergency services are to be congratulated for the work they have done to improve access to services. There have been real improvements in the numbers of people getting urgent care quickly.”
Chris Welsh, Chief Operating Officer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added:
“When patients are sick or injured they don’t want to wait any longer than absolutely necessary for an assessment and treatment, which is why our staff work exceptionally hard every day to ensure they see people attending A&E as quickly as they can.”