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Hospital A&E numbers begin to rise to levels seen before pandemic

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:55 18 June 2020

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital April 2020 Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital April 2020 Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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A&E attendance at Norfolk’s hospitals is rising to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Higginson, the new chief executive at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUHSam Higginson, the new chief executive at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) saw 11,719 patients in its A&E department in May, an increase of 49pc from April.

Last month was the lowest recorded number of patients seen at any of the county’s hospitals since 2013.

In May, the overall number of patients in A&E at the NNUH was 11,719, 3,687 at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston, 5,074 and 4,741 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn.

Of those attending A&E at the NNUH, 74pc were seen in four hours or less, up from 69.3pc in May 2019, but was the lowest in the country.

The James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe James Paget University Hospital. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The figures show the QEH treat 94pc of patients within four hours last month and JPUH seeing 92.3pc.

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The figures also showed the NNUH did record a fall in the number of patients having to wait more than four hour which decreased by six percent from May 2019.

The NNUH also saw a 33pc decrease in the number of ‘trolley waits’ from 662 to 444 from the same time in 2019.

“Trolley waits” refer to the number of patients waiting more than four hours from decision to admit to admission.

Sam Higginson, chief executive of the NNUH, said: “Emergency department attendances have started to return to the levels they were before Covid-19.

“All teams at NNUH have been working diligently to adapt to the challenges this pandemic has brought over the last few months, to keep Covid-19 patients separate from non-Covid patients and to deliver excellent care.

“Improving our emergency department performance is a priority for us and this will involve a whole hospital effort.”

The A&E department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth HospitalThe A&E department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Photo: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Arthur South Day Procedure Unit at the NNUH was being used as a temporary emergency department during the crisis but has been reinstated to allow for the restart of surgeries.

The figures also showed the QEH recorded its lowest number of “trolley waits” since September 2016 with the number of patients waiting more than four hours falling by 81pc to 57 compared to May 2019.


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