THE boss of Burton’s Queen’s Hospital has moved to re-assure patients it is working to ensure patients can be handed over to staff safely so ambulances can turn around ‘in a timely way’.
Helen Ashley, chief executive of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, spoke after figures from its latest performance report showed the trust had failed to meet ambulance handover times for at least a year.
Handover is the time which elapses from when an ambulance-borne patient arrives at the accident and emergency department to when he or she is discharged into the care of a hospital clinician.
Queen’s target is for 85 per cent of handovers to be completed in 15 minutes or under, but the closest it has come to hitting this target in the past 12 months was the 71.6 per cent it achieved in June 2012.
The trust’s worst performance was 47.7 per cent in April 2012. In March this year, the most recent month for which figures are available, it was 54.3 per cent.
Ms Ashley said: “We would like to take the opportunity to re-assure people that the trust is working closely with the ambulance services from both West Midlands and East Midlands to ensure that patients are safely handed over to our staff so that ambulances are able to turn around in a timely way.
“We have committed resources within the trust to support this and work closely with the hospital liaison officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service who is based within our emergency department.”
Her comments came after figures showed the number of ambulances waiting outside accident and emergency departments had increased by 37,000 to almost 99,000 since 2010-11, a rise of 58 per cent.