Many hospitals do not meet the 95% target of treating A&E patients within the four-hour period.
Recently revealed statistics reported in a Daily Mail Online article have shown that English hospitals only manage to see about 84.2% of their patients in the A&E four-hour time limit. This makes it a lowest figure yet. February 2019 has been an especially tough month for the hospitals in the country, with only 6 in total hitting their target out of 135.
Places such as The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust in Harlow, Essex are hitting numbers as low as 64% of patients seen within the timeframe in its A&E. Ten hospitals fell to below the 75%, which means quarter of patients in the A&E had to wait more than four-hours. We believe that the numbers presented to us portray the worrying state of the NHS.
With longer waiting time, patients suffer longer periods of distress and pain. The NHS A&E departments as a unit have not been able to hit the 95% target for all year since 2014. Even targets for people to be treated within two months of a doctor’s referral has been missed for 37th month in a row by the NHS.
We find it hard to picture how much worse the state of the NHS can become. With the increased population, the number of people over 85 years-old is rising. January 2019 also presented some problems with overcrowding of hospital beds, with 95% of beds filled for overnight stay. The number is especially glaring when we take into account the mild winter we have experienced this year.
The underfunding and cutbacks are stretching the departments thin. The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, who serves 350,000 people in Harlow and the surrounding area, were rated the lowest score by Care Quality Commission last March. The hospital needs £50 million worth of work for improvement. Instead, it had to pay £1.8 million worth of fines in 2016 because of patients waiting more than a year to receive treatment.
Cancer treatments are also longer, with huge number of people waiting over a month to start therapy. The waiting list is now 4.16 million people who are waiting for all kind of treatments. Over 220,000 people out of the 4.16 million had been waiting six months or more to receive treatment, with 36,000 waiting for minimum nine months.
In response to the situation, new plans have been announced with the four-hour target changing in favour of a new measurement system. The idea will undergo trial and could be implemented later in the year.
The question we ask ourselves at the Phoenix Legal Solicitors is if this will improve the system or only mask the shortcomings present in medical care? We believe it will certainly take some of the scrutiny off the NHS, along with making the figures hard to compare to previous years. From our point of view, it does not seem like changing established targets will improve the life of staff or patients in any significant way. The NHS requires not only a massive increase in funding, but also a better structured system to be put in place to improve efficiency of staff and better care for their patients.
If you feel that you have suffered as a result of a delayed treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0151 306 3694 to discuss whether you may have grounds for a claim.
We offer free consultation whether it’s at your home, in Hospital, through Facetime or any other method that suits you. Our experienced staff will guide you through the entire legal process on a no win, no fee basis, leaving you free of financial risk.