Emergency department achieves national 'four-hour' target

11 January 2013
The emergency department has achieved the four-hour waiting time target between October and December 2012.

The department treated 95% of patients within four hours in December, and 95.96% in the months October - December (quarter 3 of this financial year). The national target is set at treating 95% of patients within four hours for NHS trusts in the UK.

This is particularly welcome news as Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts, is focusing on our ability to achieve the four-hour target. Waiting times in the ED were a cause of concern in Monitor's recent announcement about the Trust, but the situation is improving and in the past two quarters since July 2012 we have achieved our target.

We have developed new initiatives to transform care in the department, such as the 'chair-centric' area to help patient flow. Phase four of the development work to the department will be complete later this month, which will provide additional cubicles and 14 extra assessment spaces to treat patients.

Karen Castille, interim chief executive, commented on meeting this target: "This could only have been achieved through outstanding team work, immense dedication and genuine effort on the part of so many people. We are not there yet; we are currently in the most challenging quarter of the year and I am asking all staff to continue their efforts and dedication to achieving this for the benefit of our patients."