High standards for Emergency Department during lockdown

Over 95% of people attending the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital during May and June spent less than 4 hours in the department.

The IOW NHS Trust has achieved the national four hour standard for the past two months despite the number of people attending for emergency care returning to levels seen before COVID-19.

Patients have been assessed and either admitted to hospital, transferred to another service or discharged within the four hour window.

The national NHS standard was last achieved at St. Mary’s Hospital in 2018 and since that time has been an on-going challenge for the healthcare system.

Although the national standard is commonly known as the Emergency Department standard it can only be achieved through the combined efforts of a number of services including community services, adult social care, hospital inpatient wards and diagnostic services to ensure people continue to move through the system.

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of each and every person who has contributed to us achieving this standard for our patients, especially at a time which has been so challenging for everyone across all our services.

“This is a real team effort. Everyone has worked really hard and embraced new ways of working, under difficult conditions, to ensure our patients are transferred in a safe and timely way to the right place, at the right time and the first time, which is key.

“It is now for us to build on this improvement and ensure we continue to get it right for people needing emergency care.”

One of the biggest challenges for an Emergency Department is being able to safely manage the volume of people needing the service at any one time.

Joe Smyth, Chief Operating Officer added: “The Emergency Department team have made a number of changes to the way they work and to the department’s processes and procedures over the past few months.

“Improved discharge planning on the wards as well as improved communication and working arrangements with social services have also made a significant contribution to delivering this system wide target. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work.”