The A&E departments at Epsom, Sutton and St Helier hospitals were busier than ever last year, and saw unprecedented pressures during the winter months. But despite the record-breaking number of patients needing care, the departments have exceeded the national standard of treating 95% of patients within four hours.
During the financial year 2014-15, the hospitals saw 147,667 attendances to the A&E units, as well as the eye A&E department at Sutton Hospital, and successfully met the four-hour standard 95.6% of the time.
Jackie Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, has overall responsibility for ensuring our hospitals run smoothly. She said: “Patients who come to A&E are often in a lot of pain and can be suffering from a very serious condition. We owe it to them to make sure they are seen as quickly as possible, and get the care they need in a timely way. That’s why the four hour standard is so important.
“I am delighted that we have exceeded the standard for the year delivering a 0.2%, improvement on last year, despite the busiest winter for many years. I am immensely proud of our staff in A&E, as well as the wards and departments that support them. The teams have worked tirelessly over the last twelve months, and I would like to thank each and every one of them.
“The winter was a really challenging time for us, but it is thanks to everybody’s hard work and dedication that we were able to continue to provide timely and appropriate care to all of our local residents.”
The winter period of the last financial year added considerable pressure to emergency departments across the country; in the first two weeks of December 2014, 5,958 patients visited the A&E departments at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals - an 11% increase compared to the same period last year.
Health Service Journal: Hit or miss: Lessons from the best and worst A&E performers
Our good A&E performance was highlighted in a recent article by the Health Service Journal. Read the HSJ article 'Hit or miss: Lessons from the best and worst A&E performers' (opens in a new window).