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A&E Waiting Times: 'Worst for a Decade'

Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
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3:16pm 6th January 2015

A&E waiting times have hit their worst level in more than a decade.

In the last three months, 92.6% of patients were seen within the four hour target at hospitals across England.

Pirate FM has seen a breakdown of Cornwall's emergency admissions in the week over Christmas which shows that 95 had to wait longer than four hours.

On the Saturday after Christmas, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust saw 100 more attendances than it had seen the previous year.

Emergency Department Consultant and Divisional Director for Medicine Andy Virr said: "That's an extraordinary spike in numbers.

"What happens is that care gets spread over many more people and the care that the really urgent cases need gets diluted.

"We need support from Primary Care; we'd like to see more use of elder care consultants at the front door to help us manage as the population's getting older and to turn those around.

"I think we need to make sure we've got the right resources focussed at the front door as part of trying to keep people out of hospital, not just putting investment in the community; we need good investment at the front door in A&E."

Campaigners are calling for Cornwall's NHS to get fairer funding from the government.

Graham Webster from Health Initiative Cornwall said: "When patients are sick and poorly, they want to receive care and attention as quickly as possible; we all want that. I know a lot of the staff and the doctors do try very hard to provide a high level of care and that is to be welcomed but they're under extreme pressure; they can only do so much.

"It's not a question of just throwing money at A&E. It's not good enough just to put a few million here and a few million there, the NHS needs to be properly funded on an annual basis and that funding has been a problem here in Cornwall for many, many years."

You can read a full breakdown of the figures here.

3:16pm 6th January 2015

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