A&E figures begin to exceed targets at Northampton General Hospital

Dr Sonia Swart
Dr Sonia Swart

Doctors and nurses at NGH have managed several perfect records of dealing with every A&E patient within four hours, as emergency department performance improves.

Northampton General Hospital, like many others across the country, has only rarely managed to hit waiting times targets over the last few years as unprecedented numbers of people come through its doors with serious injuries or complex illnesses.

The national target is either treating, admitting or discharging 95 per cent of patients in four hours.

But Dr Sonia Swart, the chief executive, said the hospital has dealt with every patient on time on a number of occasions recently.

Writing in the hospital’s Insight magazine, she said: “We have continued to see a remarkable improvement in our A&E performance, which is so critical to the smooth running of the whole hospital.

“There have even been days when we have treated, admitted or discharged every one of more than 300 people arriving in the emergency department within just four hours.

“This is a huge team effort achievement for which everyone involved desrves our praise and thanks.”

The hospital has been reluctant to seek out publicity on the improvement, in case the uplift turns out have been a blip. or in case it gives the impression that its A&E can easily cope with more patients.

However, it looks like the raft of measures the wider NHS and social services have put in place are beginning to pay off.

Cutting down on bed-blockers - patients who are forced to stay because their are no free rehab beds - who prevent new admissions onto wards, has been one of the health bosses’ targets.

Dr Swart said: “A major factor is that the number of delayed discharges has started to fall at last.

“We have been working with our commissioners to help to support more residential care placements, so we will be watching this carefully to ensure it does not again become an issue.”