Ambulance delay figures drop by 90 per cent in a year

Sally Kilgariff, chief operating officer at the trustSally Kilgariff, chief operating officer at the trust
Sally Kilgariff, chief operating officer at the trust
HEALTH bosses have welcomed the news Rotherham Hospital has cut ambulance handover delay times by more than 90 per cent in a year.

Last September the hospital reported record-breaking handover delays, with more than 300 patients waiting outside for over an hour.

The figure, also known as 'black breaches', reached 314 — almost double the 169 for August and above the previous highest-ever monthly figure of 307.

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Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust latest board of directors' report noted that this September delays dropped significantly by 90 per cent to 28 from last year's 314.

In August the numbers stood at 114, while in July there were 54 ambulance handover delays.

There were also ten 12-hour trolley waits in September last year, leading to the hospital being put on 'black alert' in terms of services being under severe pressure due to the “significant challenges in bed availability”.

This year the report noted there had been no 12-hour trolley waits to date.

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The findings follow the Advertiser's previous report of Rotherham Council's heath and wellbeing board meeting which heard the borough's health services were “better prepared for winter this year”, with measures including additional beds in the hospital's Urgent and Emergency Care Centre and recruitment including 50 more doctors than in 2019.

Sally Kilgariff, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “I am extremely pleased to see an improvement in ambulance handover times.

“As part of our work to transition back to the national four hour standard for emergency care, we have undertaken a number of work streams to improve pathways for patients.

“This work has seen a reduction in waiting times in our UECC and, in turn, allowed us to reduce times for ambulance handovers.

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“It has been an especially challenging 12 months for the NHS, with industrial action and the continued recovery from Covid-19, so it is great to see that these improvements are having a positive impact on patient care.

“As we enter the winter season, we are optimistic that the changes we have implemented will put us in a better position to face the expected increase in demand during the colder months.”