Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
A&E targets missed for one year.
Accident and emergency departments in Oxfordshire's biggest hospitals have missed waiting time targets every month for a year, a new report says.
The last time Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust met the national target of 95% of patients receiving treatment within four hours was in July 2015.
Clinical chair of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), Dr Joe McManners, said the figures reveal a lack of capacity in community and social care and added: "One of the major reasons for the missed targets is that people are stuck in A&E who need to move into a hospital bed for further care.
"We have managed to reduce the number of people stuck in hospital by, for example, commissioning more care from nursing homes. But there is still a backlog."
The OCCG report reveals that, in the year to May 2016, only 87.3% of patients were seen within four hours. In the worst month - February - 22.4% of people attending A&E had to wait longer than four hours.
The Royal College of Nursing's senior officer for Oxfordshire, Victoria Couling, said that part of the problem was created by patients visiting A&E when more appropriate care could be provided by GPs and pharmacies.
But Patients Association director Liz McAnulty said this was a "miniscule" percentage of people visiting A&E.
She said: "We're all living longer and this ageing population needs extra care and treatment but funding for NHS and social services is dwindling. We need far more than what the government is providing to meet the growing need. We are hearing from patients all the time who are waiting for more than four hours. The reality is that people in trauma are not being seen quickly enough."
The OCCG report said there had been an improvement in the performance of A&E departments and that an action plan had been developed and implemented to support four-hour standard delivery to improve the flow of patients.
Laura Potter from Banbury said that her husband had a five-hour wait at the A&E department at Horton Hospital, Oxfordshire after a motorcycle crash.
She said: "For an actual accident, I thought he would be seen immediately. It was frustrating because the majority of people in there didn't seem to be in an emergency state.
"There was a lack of urgency and interest. There was no apology and lots of confusion. It took an hour for staff to decide if his leg was broken or not. We went back again a couple of weeks later when he was in excruciating pain, but was told there was another five-hour wait.
"We called the John Radcliff Hospital in Oxford to see if he could be seen faster there and they said their situation was not much better."