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Hospital hitting targets as patient numbers increase
6:32pm Sunday 18th August 2013 in Local news
Accident & emergency units at Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale Hospital are meeting national treatment guidelines despite dealing with a significant rise in patients within the last year, newly released figures show.
Bradford Royal Infirmary, with one of the busiest A&E departments outside London, exceeded the NHS 95 per cent target of treating A&E attendees within four hours for all of 2012/13 during which it dealt with a record of more than 135,000 patients.
Meanwhile, Airedale Hospital’s A&E unit achieved the target for most of this year, bar a few weeks in April and May when its performance dropped to seeing 80 per cent of patients within four hours.
A Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “Over the last three years we have experienced a 4.3per cent year-on-year rise in the number of patients requiring treatment from our emergency department.
For the first time last year, our yearly attendances rose to more than 135,000 and daily attendances now range from between 350 to 420 patients.
“Our staff have put in a lot of hard work and effort to review of our emergency care pathway and ensure that we continue to offer our patients an excellent service.
“Innovations such as virtual wards and teams of occupational therapists in the emergency department have played an important part in meeting the demand.
“However, the public still have a large role to play and we would urge people who don’t have an obvious life-threatening illness or injury to access advice from non-emergency organisations such as calling 111 or by contacting their local pharmacist, GP surgery, or walk-in centre for treatment.”
Ann Wagner, director of strategy and business development at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said it wanted to apologise to patients who experienced delays at its A&E in April and May.
She said: “One factor that has helped relieve some of the pressures on our A&E department, is our telemedicine service.
“Specialist video technology has been installed into a number of local nursing and residential care homes and is supported 24/7 by nurses and consultants in our Telehealth Hub. Carers in the homes are able to speak face-to-face to an experienced nurse, and get advice to help them to treat patients themselves, arrange for a community nurse to visit or, if necessary, call for an ambulance.
“It has helped to reduce hospital admissions by 45 per cent and A&E attendances by 69 per cent, when comparing homes with and without the telemedicine service over the last 12 months.”
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