The Independent London Newspaper
26th April 2019

Camden hospitals miss four hour target for seeing accident and emergency patients

    The Royal Free says the closure of Chase Farm A&E contributed to missed targets

    Published: 7 January, 2015

    STAFF at the Royal Free have warned board chiefs that the “closure of neighbouring accident and emergency departments” was to blame for major waiting time delays at the Hampstead hospital.

    The NHS trust – along with the Whittington and UCLH – has missed its four hour waiting time targets for the last two months.

    Board chiefs were at the Hampstead hospital warned at a meeting last month that a rise in patients following the closure of Chase Farm A&E had not been matched by higher staffing levels.

    A board report said: “Staff told us that since the Accident and Emergency department closed at Chase Farm hospital in December 2013 they have seen an increase in the number of patients on their wards. Staff told us that their staffing numbers had not increased and that they did not feel senior managers had planned for the increase in patient numbers.”

    Chase Farm Hospital A&E was shut in a move many saw as consequence of the  decision to keep the Whittington Hospital's casualty, after it was saved from closure in 2010. Two A&Es in major west London hospitals were also closed last year. 

    Yesterday, Whittington board members considered a report from the chief executive Simon Pleydell that said targets had been missed because of “the volume of patients presenting to the Emergency Department” as well as “the demand for acute inpatient and community based beds”.

    At UCLH, Sir Robert Naylor said in his chief executive's report: “In September, we missed the standard for 95 per cent of Emergency Department patients to be seen within four hours. This was mainly due to bed capacity as a result of ongoing increases in non-elective and elective demand on beds.”



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