King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is improving, despite failure to meet A&E target in February

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn. PHOTO: IAN BURT

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn. PHOTO: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

The head of a group of GPs responsible for planning health services in west Norfolk has reassured people that an under-fire hospital is improving, despite its failure to meet the A&E waiting time target.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn was put in 'special measures' in October last year after regulators identified a series of failings.

Members of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) governing body heard at its monthly meeting in Swaffham yesterday that the hospital this monthhad not met its target, that at least 95pc of patients attending A&E should be seen, treated and admitted or discharged within four hours of arrival.

The 95pc target was not met at the hospital in the first three quarters of 2013/14, but monthly performance improved in January to the level of 95.6pc.

The meeting heard, however, that performance in February had deteriorated, with several poor performance days earlier in the month.

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CCG chairman Dr Ian Mack said: 'The 95pc target has not been met on a day to day basis in February, with the figure going down to 78pc on one occasion, but the average for the month is near to 94pc.'

Dr Mack said that while the hospital had made good improvements, he was not fully convinced it could consistently deliver the 95pc target.

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He compared the figures to Gorleston's James Paget Hospital, which he said was in a similar catchment area, but was consistently delivering the 95pc target.

However, he told the meeting that he had met the QEH's interim chief operating officer Andrew Stenton, and added: 'I have great confidence in the interim chief. He does not just want to hit the 95pc target, but to hit 100pc.'

Meanwhile, a report also revealed that ambulance response times in West Norfolk for April to December last year were still well below average. While the national standard was 75pc for response within eight minutes, for the most time critical patients, in West Norfolk it was 63pc. And the West Norfolk figure was 62.5pc, compared to a national standard of 75pc, for response within eight minutes, for serious but less immediately time critical patients.

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