PATIENTS in Hartlepool are having to wait longer for A&E care as treatment times fall bellow Government targets.
People turning up to the University Hospital of North Tees’ A&E department and Hartlepool’s One Life minor injuries unit during the week of the new year faced longer waits for treatment.
For the week ending January 4, only 91.8 per cent of those were transferred, admitted or discharged within four hours – below the Government’s requirement of 95 per cent.
This is a decrease on the previous week’s 92.6 per cent, which included the Christmas period.
However, despite the slight dip, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has one of the best A&E treatment times within the region.
Hospital bosses have said a huge demand on services and a number of complex cases have contributed to the waits.
Julie Gillon, the Trust’s chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, said: “During this week the pressure on the trust has remained high and we have unfortunately fallen short of the four hour target because many of the people we are seeing in accident and emergency have complex illnesses where they need to be admitted to hospital.
“Because the hospital is already full of patients who are suffering with similar illnesses and we are unable to discharge some patients because the nursing or residential homes which could accept them are suffering with staff and patient sickness we are unable to move patients through into the wards as quickly as we would like to.”
Ms Gillon has also praised the Trust’s hard working staff for their efforts during the busy period.
She added: “I would like to pay tribute to our staff right across the trust who are working extremely hard and supporting each other so they can give our patients the care they need throughout this very busy time.
“Because of the pressure we are seeing 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.”