East Surrey Hospital fails to meet A&E target

A hospital boss has pledged to improve A&E waiting times after NHS data showed the trust to be the worst performing in the region.

The figures show Surrey and Sussex Healthcare took more than four hours to see one in five patients.

Chief executive Michael Wilson said the trust was investing £14m to address "significant capacity issues".

"These problems have existed for a period of time and we are doing our best to resolve them," he said.

'Problem with capacity'

"We have a very detailed recovery plan and when we put the infrastructure in place I am very confident we will achieve the national standard."

The data shows between April and September the hospital treated 78.8% of patients within four hours compared with the 95% standard.

Henry Smith, the Conservative MP for Crawley, said there had been a problem with capacity at East Surrey Hospital since the A&E ward was closed at Crawley in 2005.

He said: "Unless there is a new A&E unit in the area, I think these problems will continue."

Cliff Bush, of the patient watchdog Surrey Link, said ambulance crews should take patients elsewhere when East Surrey is full.

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