May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Adam Gretton
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Health chiefs admitted there were no quick fixes to slow ambulance turnarounds after it emerged that the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital could be hit by fines of up to £3.5m a year.
Members of the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee expressed their concern today after Norfolk’s main hospital had been unable to address the problem of ambulances queuing at the front door of the Colney site with patients waiting to be seen by A&E staff.
The extent of the problem was demonstrated on Wednesday night when 17 ambulances were queued up outside the N&N.
Ambulance officials said the problem was contributing to the service’s slow response times in Norfolk, which has led to the trust receiving criticism from MPs and patients in recent months.
Councillors were told that all NHS organisations in central Norfolk were working together to try and resolve the issue of a handover delays.
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is required to meet a target of seeing 85pc of patients within 15 minutes of their arrival by ambulance. However, that figure for the last ten months is 76pc.
Chris Cobb, director of medicine and emergency care at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said the foundation trust could be hit by financial penalties of up to £3.5m a year, which would pose a “significant impact.”
The meeting heard that full beds in community hospitals and on inpatient wards in acute hospitals was creating a backlog at A&E and delaying new admissions.
Interim ambulance chief executive Andrew Morgan said the trust had sped up the time it takes to get back on the road following patient handover as part of efforts to improve the performance of the NHS trust.
Jonathon Fagge, chief executive officer of the Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which will be responsible for the commissioning of health services in the Norwich area from April 1, said fines for handover delays aimed to be a deterrent. However, there was no “quick fix” to handover issues although he was optimistic that Project Domino, which was launched at the end of last year to improve emergency and urgent care in central Norfolk would start delivering results.
Michael Carttiss, chairman of the health committee, said the problem of handover delays was a “minefield” and “very complex.”
“The ambulance service’s problems are not all the fault of the ambulance service and will not be solved by 15 new ambulances when they have the crews to man them,” he said.
See Friday’s EDP for more.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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