St Richard’s Hospital patient waits 12 hours for bed

A&E, St Richard's Hospital ''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-6 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154258
A&E, St Richard's Hospital ''Picture by Louise Adams C140028-6 Chi St Richard's Hospital ENGSUS00120140113154258

A PATIENT admitted to St Richard’s Hospital was left waiting for more than 12 hours for a bed – prompting an investigation.

The patient, who was told they needed to be admitted for further treatment, was being seen at the accident and emergency department of the Chichester hospital.

However, records show it took more than 12 hours before a bed could be found on a hospital ward.

National NHS targets say patients should be seen within four hours – which also includes treatment and a decision to discharge or admit them.

In the seven days leading up to April 27, ten patients admitted to St Richard’s and Worthing Hospital’s A&E departments were left waiting between four and 12 hours for a place on a ward. The figures were released in NHS England’s weekly report on A&E departments across the country.

Over the week-long period, the two departments, both run by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, treated 2,624 patients.

In the week leading up to May 4, 13 patients were left waiting between four and 12 hours, but the hospitals treated 98.1 per cent of the 2,741 patients within four hours. The national average is 92.5 per cent.

Jane Farrell, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This was an exceptionally busy period for the whole hospital and our partners across the health community and we are very sorry that one of our patients was not able to be transferred from A&E sooner.

“Such delays are incredibly rare and we have carried out a full investigation into what happened and shared the findings 
and recommendations with our staff.

“Our A&E departments, with support from teams across the hospital, are among the best-performing in the country.

“Almost 97 per cent of patients are seen, treated, admitted or discharged within the four-hour limit – well above the national average, which makes this case all the more disappointing.”

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth has been fined £900,000 for not seeing patients in A&E quickly enough.