A HOSPITAL trust has met a Government target for dealing with accident and emergency patients despite a rise in the number of admissions.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust says it exceeded the Government’s target of seeing people in A&E within four hours.
The A&E department at the University of North Tees in Stockton deals with Hartlepool and East Durham casualties since the closure of the town’s department two years ago.
The trust says it saw an extra 3,068 people attending A&E over the last year, an increase of 4.7 per cent.
But it says it exceeded the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.
The number of people being admitted to hospital also went up in the same time frame by 2,080, equivalent to a 14.5 per cent increase.
Julie Gillon, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “Thanks to the efforts and hard work of our staff we are still achieving our accident and emergency targets.
“It’s a real team effort and a tribute to all of our staff that we consistently meet and exceed these challenging targets.
“We are working with commissioners, primary care, local authorities and others because this is a whole system issue which cannot be addressed solely by our A&E department or ourselves as a trust alone.”
Nationally, A&E waiting times reached a nine year high according to a report by the independent health charity The King’s Fund.
John Appleby, the fund’s chief economist, said: “Emergency care acts as a barometer for the NHS. The worryingly high number of patients waiting longer than four hours in the last quarter of 2012-13 is a clear warning sign that the health system is under severe strain.”