AFTER Warwick Hospital’s accident and emergency target was achieved for the first time in December since 2009, a report shows it is likely the target will be missed in January.
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, will be told at its meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) that the A&E target will be missed in January.
This is due to a combination of the usual slow down of discharges over the Christmas period, care of the elderly ward cover in the first week of January and a suspected norovirus outbreak that at its peak closed five medical wards to admission and transfer, including the medical assessment unit.”
A letter sent in December from the sector regulator for health services in England, Monitor, to the trust’s chair, Graham Murrell, stated that the investigation into the A&E four-hour waiting time target breaches was closed.
The letter from Alex Coull, senior regional manager of Monitor said: “Following a meeting of Monitor’s Provider Regulation Directorate (PRD) on 9th December, I am writing to inform you that PRD determined that the formal investigation into A&E four-hour waiting time target breaches and Referral Time to Treatment (RTT) admitted target performance at your trust will be closed without the need for any enforcement action.”
The formal investigation was opened by Monitor in June to determine if the trust was in breach of its licence and whether any regulatory action should be undertaken.
The investigation was launched due to governance concerns arising as a result of the trust’s breach of the A&E four-hour waiting time target five times within a 24-month period and the trust’s inability to provide assurance that it would be able to comply with the RTT admitted target in quarter one of 2013-14.
Mr Coull noted that the trust had undertaken a number of actions to address the issues.
He wrote: “As a result of PRD’s decision, the trust’s governance risk rating published on Monitor’s website has been updated to green.”
At tomorrow’s board meeting, trust chief executive Glen Burley will report on the national review of urgent and emergency care.
A ‘blueprint’ report was published before Christ-mas, which signals the first stage of a review led by Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England. He has a three to five year plan explaining that he feels changes are necessary and are the “only way to create a sustainable solution and ensure future generations can have a peace of mind that, when the unexpected happens, the NHS will still provide a rapid, high quality and responsive service free at the point of need.”
Mr Burley said the plans support the trust’s strategy to keep patients who do not need emergency treatment out of hospital.
He wrote in his report: “Under the plans accident and emergency departments will be divided into two distinct types.
“This will take the form of 70 ‘major emergency centres’ which will treat patients who have the most serious conditions; and 100 other centres that will manage patients thought to have less serious injuries. In addition more patients will be treated over the phone, at pharmacies or by paramedics.”
The trust has also been involved in some national development work looking at creating better emergency care across hospital and community settings.
Mr Burley added: “We are very supportive of the model which Sir Bruce proposes.”
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