HOSPITAL bosses say they have put procedures in place to cope with increased pressure on A&E services.
NHS England has launched an improvement plan across the country to tackle what bosses call a decline of the service, including the increasing numbers of patients, seasonal illnesses such as the winter vomiting bug and delays in admittance and discharge of patients.
But bosses at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust are already developing a plan to improve services.
Chief operating officer for the trust, Julie Gillon, said: “We have to concentrate on ensuring the patients get the appropriate emergency care they need as quickly as possible because this is what’s important to them.
“This means we have had to look at the way we run our hospitals and work with our partner organisations, North East Ambulance Service and primary care, to ensure appropriate attendance or admission.
“Many patients with emergency medical and surgical problems are admitted directly into our emergency assessment units, without the need to visit accident and emergency altogether and further work is on-going to improve this service.”
She addded: “Our accident and emergency department depends on the efficient working of departments like radiology and pathology to run smoothly.
“Our medical and surgical wards also need to be able to look after the patients who need care and discharge them when they are well enough to leave so that they can accommodate patients being transferred from accident and emergency. It’s a real team effort and a tribute to all our staff that we consistently meet and exceed the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen, treated admitted or discharged from A&E within four hours.”