King’s Lynn hospital fails to meet A&E figures

QEH Accident and Emergency Dept and Vehicles outside the entrance on Sunday 4th Jan 2015 ANL-150501-075111009
QEH Accident and Emergency Dept and Vehicles outside the entrance on Sunday 4th Jan 2015 ANL-150501-075111009
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The pressures of winter are continuing to affect Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Gayton Road site remains on an internal black alert, which means bed capacity has been reached, but has not yet been forced to close its doors to new admissions.

New figures from NHS England show that the hospital is missing its targets for waiting times at its accident and emergency department.

For the week ending December 28, 89.9 per cent of patients at A&E were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours or less. The target is 95 per cent.

This is a problem seen at A&E departments across the country with admissions reaching the highest levels for a decade.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “The pressure reported across the country is having a similar impact locally.

“We continue to work closely with partners across health and social care to maintain high quality and safe care for our patients.”

The hospital has been on black alert, which is the highest alert, since Saturday and is appealing for patients to only go there in a genuine emergency. The QEH had previously declared a black alert in December.

Two years ago the hospital received a £3.9 million grant to re-design its emergency department to create additional treatment areas and invest in support services.

High levels of demand has also been seen at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which had declared a “major incident”.

The hospital, which is used by people from West Norfolk, has cancelled all non-emergency surgery earlier this week.

Chief executive Keith McNeil said the hospital has been under “extreme pressure” since New Year’s Eve and major incident mode was declared at 7pm on Tuesday.

He said: “This is due to unprecedented levels of demand on our services with especially high numbers of frail elderly patients, combined with a record level of patients whose medical care is finished and whose discharge is delayed.

“Our priority is to care safely for the patients already in the hospital and arrange the safe discharge of those who are well enough to go home and to ensure that we can provide care for those who require urgent treatment.”