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Tameside Hospital Waiting Times Worst in Country
Thursday 28th January 2016 @ 11:02 by Tom Greggan

Tameside Hospital was the worst in the country for A&E waiting times in November, latest NHS statistics have revealed.

Just 77.2 per cent of the month’s patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of their arrival at the hospital’s A&E department. The NHS operational standard is 95 per cent.

The figure fell from 82.6 per cent in October which was the seventh worst nationally.

Addressing the poor results, the Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust stated: “Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust acknowledges that performance against the four-hour emergency target for November was disappointing.

“The period just before Christmas was extremely challenging for the Trust with high levels of demand for its services, which was further affected by delays in discharging patients from hospital.

“This situation left the hospital with limited bed capacity. Staff worked extremely hard in maintaining high standards of care and safety during this time.

“Tameside Hospital continues to engage with local partners in developing solutions to deal with the current high level of demand and to help reduce the number of delayed discharges in order to improve A&E waiting times.

“However, this situation reflects a national trend in A&E attendances and the number of delayed discharges of patients at this time of year.”

Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, has written a letter to Chief Executive Officer Karen James. In it he raised concerns about the figures but also acknowledged the difficult task facing the hospital.

In the letter, he said: “I am aware that additional pressure is placed upon hospital services during the winter months, especially Accident and Emergency, not helped by the lack of substantial funding, to tackle these difficulties due to central Government funding decisions.

“However, this will obviously be of concern to my constituents and residents across the borough.”

He continued: “Tameside Hospital is on a continued journey of improvement and I know that you, your team and all the staff at the hospital are working hard to make continued improvements, especially in the light of the most recent Care Quality Commission review of services at the hospital.”

Denton MP Andrew Gwynne was also sympathetic towards the hospital, saying the government should shoulder the blame.

“The dramatic deterioration in patient care at Tameside and across England is a direct consequence of this government’s policies,” he stated.

“They cut older people’s care in the home, meaning hospitals have become dangerously full, and cuts to nurse training places have forced hospitals to drain resources hiring expensive agency staff,” he said.

“The NHS is being badly let down by this Tory government and it is local patients who are paying the price.”