Waiting times: Five patients wait over 12 hours in A&E at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital in month

Health bosses have revealed how five people found themselves waiting more than 12 hours to be seen in A&E in Sheffield during September.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 8:45 am

The massive waits came even though overall A&E waiting times at the Northern General Hospital fell during the month compared to the summer, heard the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group board of governors.

Cath Tilney, the CCG’s associate director of corporate services, said: “There are significant pressures in emergency care and particularly in this report you see the links to the increased demand on the 999 ambulance services, which has impacted on both response times and handover times at A&E.

“Also during September there were five people who waited over 12 hours in A&E at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and all of these were linked were linked to a specific need for mental health care.”

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Northern General Hospital A&E department, Sheffield. Five patients waited over 12 hours in A&E at Sheffield Northern General Hospital in month

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Patients wait 12 hours at Sheffield hospital's under pressure A&E department

She said there had been analysis linked to this and there had been a recent mental health summit. There Is now an agreed process for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to follow in relation to supporting the escalation of patients who are in this position.

She added: “There’s work ongoing to help the staff who are on call at this time, linking both Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Care Trust when these circumstances arise, so hopefully we will start to see less of this occurring in the future.”

The number of patients seen in under four hours improved in September to 81.66 per cent in September from 76.48 per cent in July 2021.

Officials said in a report that the A&E department remained under significant pressure with demands exceeding available capacity, with pressure for both Covid and non-Covid admissions and walk-in patients.

It said workforce remained a key area of risk further impacting on flow through the department and the organisation. The clinical decisions unit was well used throughout the day and additional Covid capacity re-opened in the A&E department to support safe patient assessment.

There is a Trust wide bed plan using all available staffed surge capacity. The Trust has been unable to open any further capacity due to available staffing, and it continues to liaise with Yorkshire Ambulance Service due to the impact of delayed ambulance handovers, CCG governors were told.

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