Hospital boss tells staff to stop A&E queues
A HOSPITAL'S A&E has finally hit a target to see patients within four hours following a personal plea from its new boss to doctors, nurses and other staff.
Interim chief executive Jim Birrell, pictured below, stepped in after the University Hospital of North Staffordshire reached a new low in delays faced by emergency patients.
He wrote to all 7,000 trust employees demanding they do better after just 68 per cent of people received care or were admitted to a bed within the nationally-set time deadline.
Against a Whitehall directive to hit 95 per cent, the hospital achieved 97 per cent and 98 per cent respectively over the last two days.
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The North Staffordshire NHS trust which runs five community hospitals also played its part by clearing beds more quickly for UHNS patients to be transferred to.
Now Mr Birrell, who took over from long-standing chief Julia Bridgewater in January, has come up with an action plan to make sure the breakthrough becomes permanent.
ploughing more doctors into A&E at times of peak demand;
sending home earlier in the day those patients fit enough to leave;
reducing the maximum cases breaching the four-hour wait deadline to 15 a day – compared to the 122 recorded when the service hit rock bottom on March 4.
The trust has been hit by an 11 per cent rise in patients flooding into A&E and a delay in community schemes needed to keep people well enough to stay out of hospital.
Mr Birrell said: "I am delighted with such a great response from both our own staff and community partners.
" As a result the hospital has run efficiently this week compared to last.
"We have still got some way to go before we can say the improvement is sustainable but I wanted our staff and partners to know their contribution has made a difference."
The transformation also won the thumbs-up from patients.
Trainee hairdresser Chelsea Green, 18, from Fenton, who was admitted after falling off her motorbike, said: "The ambulance brought me in and I was looked at really quickly. The nurses and doctors are great and hopefully I will be out again soon."
Retired GP David Colwell, aged 80, from Stockton Brook, added: "I've been having trouble with my hip and fell on it. The staff have been very polite and the nurses here are wonderful."
In his initial letter to staff Mr Birrell said: "We do not give patients the care they deserve or should expect from us.
"We cannot accept the 422 breaches of four hours which happened last week. We all need to take immediate responsibility to achieving a collective improvement."
He called on staff to aim to discharge at least 85 patients every day Monday to Friday – and that was the responsibility of everyone from doctors to porters and pharmacists making it happen.
A&E matron Kevin Parker said: "Staff have really pulled together following last week's disappointment and I'm delighted our patients are now seeing a real difference."