Leading politicians from the Liberal Democrats were left “immensely impressed” after a planned visit to the A&E Department at St Helier Hospital recently.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron, MP Norman Lamb, and local MP Tom Brake visited the hospital’s bustling A&E to find out more about the department’s strong performance and the plans in place to deal with the busy winter period.
In this year alone, the A&E departments at Epsom and St Helier hospital have seen a record breaking 148,532 patients – that’s an increase of more than 8,000 people from this time last year, when the hospitals had seen a high of 140,496 patients. Despite that increase, staff have seen, treated or discharged 95.3% of A&E patients within a maximum of four hours.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, who was on hand to greet the politicians and introduce them to key members of staff as they went on a tour of A&E, said: “We were absolutely delighted to welcome Tim, Tom and Norman to our hospital, and I would like to thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and find out more about the work that we do.
“We have seen a significant rise in the number of patients coming through our doors, and we expect to face another surge in demand over the coming winter months. We have put a number of measures in place to make sure that we can keep up with the pace and continue to care for our patients in a compassionate and timely way – and I’m pleased to say that the steps we have taken seem to be paying off.
“Importantly, these measures aren’t just in our A&Es – we can only achieve the standards expected of us with sterling support from all of our teams behind the scenes, and we wanted to shout about that too!”
Once the VIPs had been shown around A&E, our visitors came for a further briefing where they met:
- Dr Simon Winn, our lead clinician of acute medicine, who spoke about our Acute Medical Units
- Debbie Frodsham, Director of Emergency Care, who told them about the work we’re doing to improve patient flow through our hospitals
- Debi Miller, Lead Nurse, who spoke about our ‘closer to home ward’ for patients who are medically stable and almost ready to return home.
Chief Operating Officer Caroline Landan said: “It takes a huge amount of hard work to keep our hospitals running smoothly 24/7, and so we were really pleased to be able to share the details of our strong performance with the leader of the Liberal Democrats.
“Although we are performing well, our hospitals are very busy, and so I would encourage local people not to come to A&E unless it is an emergency.”
For more information about staying well during winter, including tips on keeping warm and avoiding flu, please visit NHS Choices.