One-third of A&E patients waited more than four hours for treatment at Northampton General Hospital last month

NHS chiefs warn pressures remain on emergency healthcare services

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 14th March 2022, 9:12 am

More A&E patients had to wait longer to be seen at Northampton General Hospital last month despite fewer people going through the doors.

NHS England figures showed 10,129 people went to NGH Accident & Emergency during February — ten percent down on the daily average in January.

Yet the proportion of those seen within four hours fell from 68 percent to two-thirds — around 3,400. The NHS target is to have 95 percent of patients seen within that time.

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There were fewer patients at Northampton General Hospital A&E during February — but more had to wait longer to be seen

A spokesman for NGH said: “A&E departments at both of our hospitals remain extremely busy as a result of normal emergency pressures at this time of year, the continued impact of Covid-19 and the pressures on hospital beds created by difficulties in discharging into community settings – which also remain under pressure.

“As at Thursday (March 10) we still had 91 hospital beds occupied by Covid positive patients across our two hospitals which has knock on effects on which wards we can admit patients to.

“We would urge people to consider very carefully if they are able to access other services such as NHS 111 or their local pharmacy or GP rather than attending our emergency departments.”

A&E attendances at NGH was considerably higher than in February 2021 when Covid lockdowns were still in force — but fractionally below pre-pandemic levels from 2020.

Figures for NGH also showed:

■ 795 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit — eight percent of patients

■ Of those, 394 were delayed by more than 12 hours

■ Around three percent of patients left before being treated

At Kettering General Hospital, 7,907 patients visited A&E at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in February — 34 percent more than the 5,879 seen in February 2021 and nearly 800 more than in February 2020.

■ 836 waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit – 11 percent of patients

■ Around three percent of patients left before being treated