Royal Bolton Hospital A&E waiting times best in region
THE Royal Bolton Hospital’s accident and emergency department is the best performing in Greater Manchester for waiting times, according to new figures.
The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust came out top of the nine trusts in Greater Manchester with an average waiting time of one hour 54 minutes — 76 minutes less than Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s wait of three hours 10 minutes.
The national average is two hours and 15 minutes, according to figures collected in April by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Hospital chiefs say the Bolton accident and emergency (A&E) department is the second busiest in Greater Manchester, with an average of 320 admissions per day. The busiest is Central Manchester.
Dr Owen Mc-Cormack, clinical lead for the emergency department at the Royal Bolton, said: “We have one of the busiest A&Es in the area, but we strive to work as efficiently and effectively as possible and these figures back that up.
“We know patients want and need to be seen as quickly as possible and all the staff work towards that.”
Yet health commissioners said around one-third of admissions could have been treated else-where to relieve the pressure on A&E.
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of the Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A good deal of progress has been made in Bolton over the past 18 months, but we are concerned about the growing number of people going to A&E for minor illnesses and injuries.
“Every week around 2,000 people visit A&E in Bolton, but around one-third could have been treated at a pharmacy, by their GP, or at home. We can all help to reduce the growing pressure on our A&E departments by only attending when we need emergency care.
“This service is for people with a life-threatening or serious condition who need immediate attention, such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems or serious accidents.”
Salford Royal was the second worst performing in Greater Manchester with an average waiting time of two hours 41 minutes.
...but it’s not so good getting into the Royal Bolton
THE Royal Bolton comes off worst in the region for the amount of time it takes to get a patient from an ambulance and into treatment.
Figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request revealed it takes an average of 12 minutes and 41 seconds to transfer a patient to hospital.
But bosses at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust stressed the hospital had the third lowest time for an ambulance to drop a patient off and get back on the road, with an average time of 28 minutes and 49 seconds. The highest was 30 minutes and 49 seconds at Wythenshawe hospital.
The trust was also keen to stress the hospital’s large number of attendances. Between 2012 and 2013, a total of 13,073 people were taken to the Royal Bolton by ambulance — the highest in Greater Manchester.
The hospital’s total handover time was 2,763 hours — the next worst was Wigan Infirmary, at 2,236 hours.
Jon Scott, the Royal Bolton’s interim chief operating officer, said the hospital had adhered to the 15-minute time limit, required in national guidelines, for handing a patient to A&E staff.
He said: “We’re one of the busiest hospitals in Greater Manchester for ambulance arrivals, and we are proud that our average handover time — at 12 minutes and 41 seconds — is well within that. We work closely with the ambulance service to see that patients are cared for throughout the handover and that it goes as smoothly as possible.”
Bolton Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee will now work with the hospital to determine how ambulance turnaround times can be made faster.
Committee chairman Cllr Noel Spencer said: “There could well be more ideas raised at the next meeting, and we’ll be looking to see if we can do better.”
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