WAITING times for A&E patients in Hartlepool and East Durham are smashing government targets.
Medics at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust either admitted, discharged or transferred 95.8 per cent of patients within four hours for the week ending Sunday, February 8.
This is above the Government’s target of 95 per cent and also higher than the current national average of 92.9 per cent
There were 1,339 patients turning up for treatment at University Hospital of North Tees A&E department in Stockton and 319 at the One Life minor injuries unit in Hartlepool.
Trust bosses are delighted to be beating the 95 per cent target.
Alan Foster, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have met the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.
“Over the last few weeks we have always been very close to this target. We have seen the proportion of patients admitted into the hospital from accident and emergency rise significantly. We are seeing many more people admitted into hospital from A&E and a rising of number of these patients have complex medical problems which need additional care.
“Getting patients through accident and emergency and onto a ward if they need to be admitted means we also have to make sure patients who are well enough to go home can do so without any delay. We are working closely with our partners in clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to do this.”
However, Mr Foster is keen to remind people to only visit A&E if it’s vital.
He added: “Because of the pressure we are seeing this year and the pressures right across the health service we would like to remind people that they should only come to accident and emergency if it’s absolutely necessary.
“Many of the things people arrive with are better dealt with outside of hospital.
“Local pharmacists can advise on minor illnesses but if people are in any doubt about where to go for their particular health problem they should ring 111 who will be happy to advise them.”