'The standard of care you can expect to receive will not be affected': Hartlepool's hospital trust chosen for NHS trial
Hartlepool hospital trust chiefs say they're delighted to be part of an NHS trial which could replace the four-hour A&E target.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will join with 14 other providers across England to test the new standards which could replace the current four-hour target.
The trust is currently one of the top performing organisations in the country for performances within their A&E department.
In a report released in March 2019, The Clinically-led Review of NHS Standards published ambitions to test the new standards based on the latest clinical best practice, and what patients say matters most to them.
The initiative will be led by NHS England and medical director Stephen Powis.
The four main standards being trialed include:
* Time to initial clinical assessment in A&E to “identify life-threatening conditions faster”;
* Time to emergency treatment for critically ill and injured patients (including heart attack, major trauma, sepsis, severe asthma and mental health presentation);
* Mean waiting time for all patients and strengthened reporting of trolley waits;
* Better utilisation of same day emergency care (also known as ambulatory care).
Julie Gillon, chief executive for the trust, said: "We were delighted to be able to contribute to the new standards trials. Our A&E performance is consistently celebrated as one of the best in the country.
"As a trust dedicated to growth, innovation and partnership within our sector, this opportunity to strengthen performance for the wider NHS further was one we were more than happy to support’."
NHS England plan a wider roll out of the regime across all trusts from April 2020.
The results of this trial will determine how many and which targets are taken forward.
Louise Johnson, general manager for urgent and emergency care explained what this means for patients visiting the trust.
She said: "The quality of care, safety and experience of our A&E department remains our number one priority.
"The standard of care you can expect to receive will not be affected. We are simply working to ensure that our services continue to be sustainable for the people that matter most – our patients’."
The trial will launch in May under regular review from NHS England.
The proposals have faced criticism from some, who say the targets are being abandoned because they can no longer be met.
NHS England said: "The information we gather through field testing and engagement will inform final recommendations from this review, and ahead of full implementation beginning spring 2020."