Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2016

Busiest February on record for Wales’ emergency departments say NHS Wales.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 22nd, 2016

Figures published today show February was the busiest on record for Wales’ emergency departments.

An average of 2,689 people attended Wales’ emergency departments each day in February 2016 – 112 every hour.

NHS Wales’ urgent and emergency care system faced exceptional levels of demand in January and February, but more than 2,000 more people were assessed, then admitted or discharged from an emergency department within four hours in February 2016 compared to February 2015.

Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, said:

“In February, our emergency departments saw an average of 2,689 people a day, 112 patients an hour and almost two people every minute – this represents the highest number for a February since records began 10 years ago in 2006.

“Robust plans have been put in place by health boards supported by an extra £45m of new investment to manage winter pressures.

“However, cases of flu and a rise in the prevalence of the winter vomiting bug norovirus have placed additional pressures on services. There has also been an increase in people over 85 who need medial care – they often have complex medical conditions and need to be in hospital for a longer time.”

The number of people seeking emergency care has risen markedly since Christmas as the traditional “winter pressures” arrived later than in previous years. On some days, there has been a 25% increase in the number of more people arriving at hospitals for emergency medical treatment – the number of people aged 85 and over needing emergency hospital treatment has risen by 8% this year

Dr Goodall added:

“It is testament to the dedication and commitment of all those working in the NHS that the latest figures show the average time spent in an emergency department was two hours and 10 minutes from arrival to admission to hospital or discharge – this includes assessment, any diagnostic tests, such as x-ray and treatment.

“I am concerned about the number of people spending more than 12 hours in emergency departments before admission or discharge and I have made my expectation for improvement clear.

“We have implemented a number of whole system actions in the past week in an effort to achieve immediate improvements and will monitor the situation closely.”

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