Whiston Hospital A&E has busiest day on record

Whiston Hospital
Whiston Hospital

Whiston Hospital’s A&E department experienced its busiest day on record following the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Last March it was revealed that Whiston Hospital saw more than 400 admissions to its A&E department in a single day.

During the past year, attendances have continued to increase throughout 2018-19.

According to the latest St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust board papers, Whiston Hospital’s A&E department saw 10,021 attendances last month.

This is up from 9,864 in March 2018 and is also an increase from the 9,186 A&E attendances in February this year.

And on Wednesday, Rob Cooper, director of operations at the trust, told the board that the A&E department saw 425 admissions on Tuesday – its busiest day on record.

To help improve patient flow, the trust has been actively working on a number of workstreams, Mr Cooper said.

He said this meant patients waiting in corridors, which has been an issue in recent years, has largely disappeared.

Mr Cooper said: “There are peaks when ambulances come in and patients have to be handed over, so small periods where there might be some people waiting to be handed over.

“But other than that, we have started to see all this work, seeing that number of patients that are waiting for beds and queuing in corridors, almost disappear.”

The trust’s director of operations also revealed there has been a “significant” improvement in hitting the ambulance handover target in 2018-19.

Whiston Hospital’s A&E department had 2,927 ambulances trips in March 2019, which is among the highest in Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, Mr Cooper said.

The handover target for March was just under 13 minutes, well within the 15-minute target.

Whiston Hospital achieved this target for 10 months out of 12 in 2018-19 compared with only five out of 12 months the previous year.

The trust board’s chairman, Richard Fraser, praised A&E staff for their continued hard work, saying they are doing a “great job in very difficult circumstances”.

Denis Mahony, a non-executive director of the board, added: “We know they’re doing a better job than other organisations, most acutes in our area, by a long way.”