Top 10 A&E performance secures multi-million pound investment

Monday May 13, 2019

Western Sussex Hospitals had the ninth best Type 1 A&E performance in England in 2018/19, helping it to secure millions of pounds to spend on new equipment for patients.

The trust finished the year in March with 95% of patients in A&E at Worthing Hospital or St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.

The organisation, rated “Outstanding” by the care Quality Commission, also delivered a £1.194 million surplus, which combined with its A&E performance, earned the trust a further £27 million of capital investment.

Chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dame Marianne Griffiths, said: “Yet again, our dedicated staff have bucked the trend and improved our performance, while the national average has unfortunately deteriorated.

striving to maximise patient value for every pound we spend

“Even more impressive is how they have achieved this during another record-breaking year for us, with 145,000 people coming to our A&Es for help – that’s around 480 more every month, compared to just a year before.

“Although called the A&E target, it is important people appreciate how this reflects the performance of the entire hospital, from front door to discharge and everyone involved in between, because we can only admit patients if we maintain good patient flow through the system.

“And so I wish to commend all our staff and volunteers for their exceptional achievements, hard work and importantly, their ingenuity and innovation which enable us to keep improving what we do.”

In 2018/19, 134,000 patients were admitted to hospital wards through the trust’s emergency departments in Chichester and Worthing – an increase of 6% on the previous year.

Despite this higher demand though, the number of patients waiting more than four hours actually reduced by 20%, with 2,300 fewer people experiencing such a delay in 2018/19, compared to 2017/18.

Nationally, the proportion of A&E visitors seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours fell from 82.3% on average in 2017/18 to 81.53% last year.

we invest our money where it will make the biggest difference to patient care

Dame Marianne continued: “Providing a good service for patients also helped us to secure an extra £17 million to spend on new equipment and improving our hospitals this year. This is because NHS regulators reward high-performing trusts which also manage their finances – and our staff do an amazing job, striving to maximise patient value for every pound we spend.”

In April, Western Sussex Hospitals earned an additional £11m from a national year-end bonus fund shared between trusts that stay on budget. The money is ring-fenced for capital investment and will be spent on new medical equipment and the trust’s estate.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to invest £30 million more on improving facilities for our patients this year,” added Dame Marianne.

“In recent years, managing our money well has enabled us to invest £7.5 million to build Western Sussex Eye Care at Southlands; spend £6 million on Worthing Radiology Department; and £2 million for the Patient Catering Department at St Richard’s. We’ve also invested around £5m to improve the delivery of clinical services through investments in IT.

“We are now exploring the many opportunities we have for improvement in our capital plan to make sure we invest our money where it will make the biggest difference to patient care and outcomes.”

For more information about Western Sussex Hospitals, including job opportunities at the trust, please visit www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk.

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