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Shropshire A&E patients being treated in corridors as hospitals struggle to meet four-hour target

Telford | News | Published:

Shropshire's A&E departments are still struggling to meet targets, it has been revealed.

Pressure on bed places in both the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital has led to patients being cared for 'sub-optimal' places like corridors.

The hospitals have also broken the 12-hour barrier for patients to receive treatment in the past couple of weeks as it struggles under extreme pressures.

The chief executive of Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning group told a meeting that the hospitals were not seeing an increase in attendance and admissions but that they were continuing to struggle.

During his verbal report, David Evans told the meeting held at the SC Conference Centre at the Telford Campus of the University of Wolverhampton in Priorslee, that both county clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been asked to attend a regional escalation meeting in Birmingham in March to discuss the pressures.

He said: "There is still a struggle to meet the four hour targets for A&E.

"It is troubling really that we are not seeing any more activity in terms of attendance but the system is still struggling to see and treat patients within four hours."

Because of the pressures, board member Christine Morris has been visiting both hospitals to better understand the situation.

She said: "When the hospitals have been in escalation for a significant period, the quality team go and do safety checks.

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"I think it is fair to say that although patients are being treated in sub-optimal places the care they have received has been as safe as staff possibly could."

She said patients and their families have also been well informed about why they are being treated where they are.

She added: "Staff are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances."

She told the meeting that analysis taken place to assess whether the Princess Royal Hospital or the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was struggling more had shown that the RSH was under greatest pressure.

As such, she and a team visited wards out of hours on Monday, where they spoke to staff about the situation and highlighted any areas where patients have been treated that staff were less comfortable with.

The meeting also heard that the CCG continues to operate well within its budget and is still recording an additional surplus of £1m. Members were also given an update on the Future Fit programme.

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