Surge in waiting times for hospital A&E dept

Milton Keynes Hospital
Milton Keynes Hospital
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The number of patients waiting more than four hours to be seen in A&E over Christmas rocketed in 2014.

Although the festive period is one of the busiest times for the NHS, fewer people attended Accident and Emergency in the last two weeks of December than in 2013.

But the number of patients waiting more than four hours to be admitted rose from 34 patients in 2013 to 200 last month.

Hospital bosses were unavailable for interview, but in a prepared statement said: “We are very busy because we have a high number of patients coming in through A&E who are acutely unwell and require admission.

Once admitted these patients are often very sick or have complex conditions that require a longer stay for treatment. “We also have a higher number of patients requiring onward care once they leave the hospital, which places pressure on community beds and means that, when those beds are full, we cannot 
discharge patients who no longer need hospital care but cannot go home.”

The news comes following a difficult few months for 
Milton Keynes Hospital.

In November health watchdog Monitor said that the hospital had “failed to fully address concerns” about both its finances and A&E.

Last month the hospital received one of the worst 
ratings in the country in a 
report by another regulator, the Care Quality Commission.

And on Monday morning the hospital opened 34 
additional beds in 24 hours to enable patients needing acute care to be admitted, after chief executive admitted staff were working “flat out”.

The Citizen is currently campaigning for a new A&E department for Milton Keynes Hospital.

However a healthcare review could instead see a serious downgrade of A&E with some services moved to Bedford.