A HOSPITAL boss says the spring has seen a "worrying situation” as patients waited a staggering 150 minutes on average to be offloaded from an ambulance at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Matthew Hopkins, the chief executive of Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, which runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, says they will now be “redoubling efforts” to improve the situation.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: TRUST: Worcestershire Royal HospitalTRUST: Worcestershire Royal Hospital

The latest figures, which cover March, were revealed in a Integrated Performance Report discussed at the latest meeting of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust's board on Thursday, (May 13).

It was revealed during that month:

 

  • There were 1,074 incidents of 60 minute ambulance handover delays at the A&E departments of Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital – the first time on record above the 1,000 mark having been above 700 a month since July 2021.
  • The average time a patient was waiting in an ambulance at Worcestershire Royal Hospital was 150 minutes - the fourth consecutive month above 100 minutes.
  • There were 25 days where a divert – when a patient has to be taken to another hospital - was in place at the Alexandra Hospital.
  • And there were 241 time patients waited 12-hours on a trolley to be seen, up from 221 in February.

 

The report said: “Our services continue to operate under sustained pressure.

“Covid-19 demand continued throughout March with an average of 104 patients per day and 128 inpatients at its peak.

“Non-elective pressures continue to result in crowding in our Emergency Department (ED) which in turn impacts our ambulance handover performance.”

 

Trust boss speaks on 'difficult month'

 

Mr Hopkins told the meeting: "As the report shows for March we had a very difficult month with high numbers of patients waiting a long time.

“At the same time a lot of patients that did need immediate emergency care were treated and prioritised by the clinical team.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: BOSS: Chief executive Matthew Hopkins BOSS: Chief executive Matthew Hopkins

“Clearly the situation is really worrying for those patients, its problematic for the ambulance service – we work as closely as we can with them to make sure they understand what we are trying to do in addressing the issue.

“Secondly making sure those patients that could be taken straight to emergency care are taken there.

“As a leadership team we spend so much time focusing on this. We are trying new things all the time.

READ MORE: Where to go instead as Worcestershire Royal Hospital wait times soar

READ MORE: Steep rise in number of Covid patients in county hospitals

READ MORE: Work well underway on expansion of Worcester hospital's A&E department

“But we recognise there is a capacity cap in terms of beds, and the department itself, hence why we are rebuilding.

“We have got to redouble our efforts to see how we can improve this, but recognise for patients and the public this is a worrying situation that we want to resolve as quickly as we can.”

Bromsgrove Advertiser: DEPARTMENT: Artist's impression of Worcestershire Royal Hospital's new A&E departmentDEPARTMENT: Artist's impression of Worcestershire Royal Hospital's new A&E department

The hospital is currently undergoing work on major plans to expand the county's A&E department, with the aim for it to open later thisn year.

Once completed, the work will see the relocation of the A&E department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the creation of a new ‘emergency village’ on the site.