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Home > News > North Cumbria's A&E departments are improving says national survey

North Cumbria's A&E departments are improving says national survey

Posted on Wednesday 3rd December 2014
emergency staff cic

A&E staff in the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) national 2014 A&E patient survey has demonstrated improvements for the Accident & Emergency departments in both the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The hospitals, run by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, showed improvements in six questions, including waiting times, opportunities for relatives to speak to a doctor and receiving prompt attention from staff when needed. The Trust was rated as performing around the same as the other NHS organisations in all other questions.

The CQC surveyed 315 people between January and March 2014 who had attended one of the Trust’s A&E departments during this period. The results of the survey will be used in the regulation, monitoring and inspection of the Trust.

The Trust has been working hard to put many improvements in place over the past 18 months and the results of the survey demonstrate improvement in many areas when compared to the 2012 results with a significant improvement in the questions ‘did you have enough time to discuss your health or medical problem with the doctor or nurse’ and ‘did the doctors and nurses listen to what you had to say’.

Despite this positive report, the Trust is aware that there are still improvements to be made. In recent weeks, the 95% emergency care standard (patients being seen, treated and admitted or discharged from A&E within four hours) has not been maintained and dropped to 85% in October after a consistently good performance against the standard throughout the year.

A number of factors affected performance in October including an unusual surge in admissions, the impact of Norovirus affecting both hospital sites for a prolonged period which reduced the number of beds available for admissions, as well as high numbers of ‘medically-fit’ patients remaining in hospital beds awaiting discharge to alternative and appropriate care providers.

The Trust is currently meeting the 95% standard again this week and the focus is on ensuring that patients are provided with the right care in the right place at the right time and this may not necessarily mean being admitted into a hospital bed.

Dr Peter Weaving, clinical director for emergency care at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “In order to improve the quality of services we are delivering in our A&E departments, it is important for us to understand what people think about their care and treatment.

“We are delighted with the 2014 results, showing improvement in almost every area and being rated as one of the best performing hospitals in some areas, particularly for waiting times.

“Our emergency departments have been very busy in recent weeks, with high numbers of people attending and our clinical teams have consistently showed their dedication and commitment to their patients. The survey demonstrates real progress for the teams in both of our hospitals who are working hard to provide a safe, caring and compassionate service.”