Bedford Hospital bucks national trend with fewer long waits for A&E patients

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A&E at Bedford Hospital has bucked the national trend, by having FEWER patients facing long waits.

New figures released by the NHS show that hospitals across England have seen year-on-year rises in the number of A&E patients waiting 12 hours or more to be treated, transferred or admitted.

But in Bedford the number has HALVED over the last two years – from 150 in 2013-14, to 75 in 2015-16.

Karen Ward, chief operating officer said: “At Bedford Hospital we have zero 12-hour trolley waits. We are committed to ensuring we have robust operational plans and procedures in place to prevent breach of the 12-hour target for patients waiting to be admitted to a hospital bed. As such, we have set a strict internal target of admitting patients within 8hrs which has been vital in maintaining our good performance in achieving the 12-hour target.

“If there are patients reaching their eighth hour of waiting, we will put in place escalation procedures such as opening up additional beds. By ensuring that our patients are admitted to a hospital bed in a timely and efficient manner, we improve the patient flow throughout the hospital and allow staff in our A&E department to see and admit appropriate emergency patients as soon as possible.”

The drop in long A&E waits is despite the number of people attending Bedford’s A&E department actually increasing – from 62,845 people two years ago to 69,835 in 2015-16.

A&E departments across England have seen huge increases in patients facing waits of 12 hours or more in A&E.

In 2011-12 48,128 people waited 12 hours or longer to be seen in A&E.

Four years later almost four times as many people – 185,017 – waited for 12-plus hours.