Royal Bolton Hospital A&E 'overwhelmed' by Easter rush

The accident and emergency department at the Royal Bolton Hospital

The accident and emergency department at the Royal Bolton Hospital

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

THE Royal Bolton’s A&E department was “overwhelmed” during the Easter weekend — putting a dampener on their “brilliant” annual performance.

Health chiefs admitted they “could have done better” to cope with the influx of emergency attendances in April, which saw 520 patients breach the four-hour waiting target.

The “disappointing” results come less than a month since the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust announced that the A&E department was ranked second best in the North West and fourth in the country in 2013/14.

The Royal Bolton saw more than 400 people attend A&E every day from Friday to Sunday over the Easter bank holiday.

The department would usually expect to see between 320 and 350 per day and, in December, attend-ances dropped to 280.

Andy Ennis, chief operating officer at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said the A&E system needs attention.

Mr Ennis told the board of directors yesterday: “We had the worst Easter performance for a long time on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We admitted signifi-cantly more patients than we discharged every day.

“There were periods where we were overwhelmed in A&E. Sometimes it took three and a half hours just to see a patient.”

“But we were not the only trust that struggled in Greater Manchester in April.”

The main causes were said to be the high volume of attendances, a lack of “flow” through the A&E departments and staffing problems.

Delays in bed availability had a knock-on effect — adding half a day to a patient’s average length of stay in hospital.

Limited GP and pharmacy access were also listed as a factor by hospital directors.

Mr Ennis added: “There were process issues we didn’t get right. I would say a third of the problem was because we were overwhelmed and two thirds were down to flow issues.“ The Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a campaign to discourage people from attending A&E during the Easter Bank Holiday.

Dr Barry Silvert, clinical director for commissioning at the CCG, said: “Bolton A&E has performed very well over the past 12 months.

“However, we are aware that this has not continued over recent weeks.

“We are working closely with the trust to look at how we can ensure that performance improves.”

Comments (5)

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6:51pm Fri 25 Apr 14

marco999 says...

Corporate clap trap - it is a hospital A&E dept and the only ' business' it should be concerned with is that of dealing with accidents and emergencies. Some days there aren't enough staff to cope or they are overwhelmed by throughput that is much higher than average - that's just the way it goes. I'm sure the staff did the best they could with the resources available to them. All this nonsense about 'process issues' is just that - nonsense. Let the hospital get on with the treating of patients and stop trying to make it into a target obsessed performance managed business.
Corporate clap trap - it is a hospital A&E dept and the only ' business' it should be concerned with is that of dealing with accidents and emergencies. Some days there aren't enough staff to cope or they are overwhelmed by throughput that is much higher than average - that's just the way it goes. I'm sure the staff did the best they could with the resources available to them. All this nonsense about 'process issues' is just that - nonsense. Let the hospital get on with the treating of patients and stop trying to make it into a target obsessed performance managed business. marco999
  • Score: 16

7:58pm Fri 25 Apr 14

MyownPOV says...

Personal experience here having to take my daughter in on Bank Holiday Monday morning which later meant she was admitted for 3 days with what they subsequently diagnosed as pneumonia. My daughter and family have nothing but praise for the Royal, the treatment and prompt diagnosis by diligent, conscientious and professional staff meant that what could have been a far longer confinement was reduced to a minimum by their attentive and prompt care. What we need is less interference from central government who use as a political and emotive football. The NHS resources needs to be removed from politics and the ownership and responsibility be given back to the professional medical care community. How can you financially penalise a local health care institute and reduce its budget for failure to meet politically imposed targets when there is obviously the need to meet actual local health needs. There are far too many bean counters and so called business improvement managers involved that are draining funds from front-line care to meet political agendas.
Personal experience here having to take my daughter in on Bank Holiday Monday morning which later meant she was admitted for 3 days with what they subsequently diagnosed as pneumonia. My daughter and family have nothing but praise for the Royal, the treatment and prompt diagnosis by diligent, conscientious and professional staff meant that what could have been a far longer confinement was reduced to a minimum by their attentive and prompt care. What we need is less interference from central government who use as a political and emotive football. The NHS resources needs to be removed from politics and the ownership and responsibility be given back to the professional medical care community. How can you financially penalise a local health care institute and reduce its budget for failure to meet politically imposed targets when there is obviously the need to meet actual local health needs. There are far too many bean counters and so called business improvement managers involved that are draining funds from front-line care to meet political agendas. MyownPOV
  • Score: 15

8:11pm Fri 25 Apr 14

MyownPOV says...

Marco999' spot on bud. Having seen the A&E reception at least a 3rd were time-wasters, cut them out and the department wouldn't be under stress. Too many bench fillers there who aren't seriously ill and are clogging the system and distorting the bean counter stats.
Marco999' spot on bud. Having seen the A&E reception at least a 3rd were time-wasters, cut them out and the department wouldn't be under stress. Too many bench fillers there who aren't seriously ill and are clogging the system and distorting the bean counter stats. MyownPOV
  • Score: 7

1:10am Sat 26 Apr 14

oftbewildered2 says...

There really should be a Minor Injuries Clinic - anyone seen there would not even be counted in the A&E numbers and if they have to wait, then they have to wait.
There really should be a Minor Injuries Clinic - anyone seen there would not even be counted in the A&E numbers and if they have to wait, then they have to wait. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 6

11:57am Sat 26 Apr 14

Gore Seer says...

A E Will Always Be Overrun With N.H.S. Immigrants, According To BBC, All The Services Will Be Used, It Is In Melt Down, The Aids Epidemic Is Hear,Hooping Caught ,Measles, Mumps, Menny More Contagious Disease Which We Cleared In The Early 70 Are Appearing, I Watch The BBC In The Early Hours, The 6 O'clock And Ten News Show Very Little News.
A E Will Always Be Overrun With N.H.S. Immigrants, According To BBC, All The Services Will Be Used, It Is In Melt Down, The Aids Epidemic Is Hear,Hooping Caught ,Measles, Mumps, Menny More Contagious Disease Which We Cleared In The Early 70 Are Appearing, I Watch The BBC In The Early Hours, The 6 O'clock And Ten News Show Very Little News. Gore Seer
  • Score: -2

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