Shropshire A&E waits are worst in country
Accident and emergency departments in Shropshire have been ranked the worst in the country for waiting times.
The trust running Shropshire’s two main hospitals came bottom of the list in figures collated for last week, health bosses have revealed.
David Evans, chief officer at Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, revealed the figures at a meeting of its governance board.
He said that fewer than 70 per cent of the 2,375 patients turning up at the county’s A&E departments last week were seen within the four-hour government target.
He said the situation at hospitals in the county was “extremely challenging”.
Weather-related illnesses and drunkeness related to the World Cup have increased the number of patients turning up at A&E and have added to the pressure placed on staff.
The government says that 95 per cent of patients should be seen within four hours in A&E after an initial assessment.
But that target has not been met in Shropshire for some time.
Mr Evans told the meeting he was disappointed with last week’s figures, adding: “We are now the worst in the country. It was below 70 per cent last week.”
His report to the board said that last week’s figure was a deterioration on figures for preceding weeks.
He said a total of 77.42 per cent of patients had been seen and treated within four hours for the week ending July 1 – which hospital bosses last week said had been the busiest week of the year.
That week, more than 2,800 people came through the doors of A&E at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, as temperatures soared.
It equated to 17 people an hour, every hour over the week-long period.
Simon Wright, chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, said people had been turning up with symptoms such as breathlessness.
Asthma and other respiratory conditions are prone to deteriorate during heatwave conditions, especially when it remains hot at night.
Mr Wright said there was also a small spike in alcohol related injuries and illnesses during World Cup matches.