COUNTY hospitals missed a key accident and emergency waiting time target as Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron hailed UK results.
Only 93.23 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour waiting time target last year against a 95 per cent target, despite an extra £10m to tackle the issue given to Oxfordshire’s hospitals.
The figures reflect a tough winter for A&E teams at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital and Banbury’s Horton General Hospital. The statistics are for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust from last April to March 31.
It came as Mr Cameron defended England A&E waits after Preson Labour MP Mark Hendrick said ambulances were queuing outside hospitals.
The PM said: “We can see in our NHS that 1.2m more people are attending accident and emergency, and over this winter period we met our targets for accident and emergency.”
County bosses said a rise in patients and people coming to A&E when they could see other services like GPs had hit waiting times. The biggest ever inspection of county hospitals recently found the JR “requires improvement”, including A&E waiting times.
Trust director of clinical services Paul Brennan said A&E “improved significantly” from the previous year’s 92.89 per cent through changes like more doctor cover from 8am to midnight, seven days a week.
He said this had “brought quite a significant improvement” but meant more were waiting more than four hours from midnight to 7am – 11 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent in the day.
The trust shared an extra £10m from NHS England with county NHS and social services in September to tackle winter pressures.
But Mr Brennan said: “The bottom line is, despite quite a lot of collaborative work, quite a lot of changes in how we have deployed resources and the new £10m, we only ended up at 93 per cent.”
He told Wednesday’s meeting of the trust board: “Clearly that is a disappointment.”
The trust said avoiding inappropriate admissions, faster assessment, better access to testing facilities and getting patients out of beds quicker where appropriate was key.
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