West London hospitals still failing to hit targets

Hospitals across west London are still failing to hit targets for A&E waiting times, despite remedial action by local hospital trusts.

Over the last three weeks, the trusts running Charing Cross, Hammersmith, St Mary’s, Central Middlesex, West Middlesex and Northwick Park hospitals all fell short of the national target of 95 per cent of people being admitted or discharged within four hours.

Percentage of patients admitted or discharged within four hours      
  01.02.15 25.01.15 18.01.15
Imperial 79.9% 85.2% 77.3%
London North West 71.2% 72.8% 68.8%
West Middlesex 87.5% 92.7% 94.7%

The latest figures show little improvement on a pattern that began in September, following the closures of A&E departments at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals.

Targets are still not being met despite a programme of emergency measures put in place by Imperial hospitals trusts, which runs St Mary’s and Charing Cross A&Es, to try and meet local patients’ needs within the target times. This programme included six extra emergency consultants, 12 extra medical beds at St Mary’s and an additional 18-bed ward at Charing Cross.

“It has been four months since the closure of two of our major A&E facilities in west London and the knock-on effects on other hospitals are just not going away,” says Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

“It shows any further reductions in capacity, particularly at Charing Cross, would be completely irresponsible. We have yet to have any answers to our repeated calls for clarification of the plan for the A&E department at Charing Cross. First we were told it was moving to St Mary’s, then we were told a new category of ‘local’ emergency unit was being invented. Now the answer is a consistent ‘don’t know’. That’s simply not good enough.”

Imperial trust says the sudden and continuing failure to meet targets is not related to the closure of services at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex and that similar problems are being seen across the country.

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