Posted on April 05, 2016

A&E targets set to be cut in Leicester

It has been revealed that Leicester Royal Infirmary could change A&E targets in order to help ease pressures on the department. The government has set a 95% target for the number of patients that have to be seen within four hours of arrival at A&E, but the Leicester hospital could reduce this to 93%. Health authority bosses have said that this is just one part of a possible scheme for improving services at the hospital. However, this figure is still tentative and has yet to be officially confirmed. The suggestion has come from NHS Improvement, but it has not been welcomed by critics. One member of the Leicester Mercury Patients' Panel, Zuffar Haq, has said that changing the target will not be an improvement for patient care, and it will only make a difference to measuring the performance of the hospital. The official figures from the hospital show that the last time that the A&E department reached 93% was more than two years ago. From April 2015 to January 2016, the department only reached 88.6% of patients being treated within four hours. At the beginning of March this year, the hospital was seeing an average of 640 patients a day arriving at A&E. NHS Improvement has said that this will not affect the national target, but this is one measure that can be taken to help the trust to improve services fairly quickly. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Chief Operating Officer Richard Mitchell said that the last few months have been very difficult, and there is an increasing demand for emergency care.
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