Saturday 4 December 2021
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Nottingham

Nottingham Hospitals 12-hour waits for admission increases as winter approaches

Hundreds of patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital in Nottingham this summer, at a time when pressure on beds is normally much lower.

The figures reflect the sustained pressure the NHS in Nottingham is still under as winter edges closer.

The trend in Nottinghamshire is in line with the national picture, which saw hospital admissions gradually increase during the summer months. Before the pandemic, they would have been expected to be much lower at his time of year.

In September, 140 patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), which operates Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital.

Numbers increased in July, August and September compared to earlier in the year – in June, nobody experienced a 12 hour wait, compared to a few months later when hundreds of people were affected.

And Emergency Department attendance numbers at NUH remained high throughout the summer – with June seeing the highest number of attendances at 18,613. July and September saw similarly high numbers.

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Nottinghamshire saw Covid-19 cases drop in April and May, before rising steadily again in June.

There was a peak in July before the cases started falling again in August and September.

The trust remains under increased pressure to improve following a critical Care Quality Commission (CQC) report after inspectors visited ED and surgery at NUH.

The CQC report which rated NUH as ‘requires improvement’, stated: “Between 16 July and 28 July 2021, the department reported 74 patients experienced a delay of 12 hours or more from a decision to admit being made and the patient being transferred to an in-patient bed.

“The longest wait was recorded as 21 hours and 44 minutes with a lack of admitting capacity being recorded as the reason for the delay.

“High attendances, poor patient flow through the department and limited primary care access were all listed as reasons as to why the department was overcrowded.

“We observed staff working hard to meet the needs of patients but also acknowledged the challenging circumstances in which they were working.”

Simon Dejonge, Divisional Nurse for Medicine for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our Emergency Department has been, and continues to be, incredibly busy.  When we don’t have enough beds in our hospitals to admit poorly patients it means that some patients will wait longer than we would like in our Emergency Department for a bed on one of our wards.

 

We are working with our partners across the system to improve flow through our organisation, which means discharging those patients who no longer need our care so we can admit those who do.  Providing good, timely care for all of our patients remains our priority.”

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust did not respond to a request to comment on the figures.

NUH: The number of patients spending  more than 12 hours from decision to admit to admission:

April – 0

June – 0

July – 74

August – 134

September – 140

 

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