Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire Royal Hospital's waiting times failure

The boss of a West Midlands hospital admits it has "failed" its patients after performing worst for A&E waiting times in the region.

A monthly report by NHS Midlands and East highlighted the issue at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust took more that four hours to see about 7% of patients seeking emergency treatment, the report found.

Some patients will now be diverted to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Eamonn Kelly, chief executive of NHS Worcestershire & West Mercia Cluster, said the main reason for the problem was a lack of beds at Worcestershire Royal.

'Not acceptable'

He said: "We've identified the need to make available about 50 additional medical beds.

"We're doing that in part by redirecting some of the patients that would normally go from Evesham and Bredon into Worcestershire Royal to the Alexandra and opening an additional ward there.

"We're making additional beds available within the Worcestershire Royal site, changing some beds from surgery to medical beds.

"We have failed patients. It's not acceptable not to be delivering that target and as a commissioner of the service on behalf of Worcestershire residents I'm responsible for doing something about that."

Mr Kelly added that increasing the availability of doctors and putting a GP in the A&E department at Worcestershire Royal would help.

"Those plans are being implemented this month. People can expect better and we're doing everything we can to turn that around."

Peter Pinfield, chairman of the public and patient involvement committee, and member of the primary care trust board, agreed that the results were "disappointing".

"These targets are set down nationally. If other hospitals can do it and we're not doing it in our area you have to ask yourself why.

"Clearly, we need to put it right."

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