Norfolk hospital records worst A&E delays in the country
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Patients at a Norfolk hospital are waiting longer to be seen at A&E than anywhere else in the country, new figures reveal.
According to government data covering October this year, just 62.9pc of patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) were seen at A&E within the four-hour target, considerably lower than the England average of 83.6pc.
In total, the figures show there were 4,617 attendances which took more than four hours.
It is the second month in a row the hospital has recorded the worst delays in the country, with a figure of 65.7pc in September.
At the time, the hospital said its emergency department had seen more than 420 people per day across the month, continuing what had been a particularly busy period.
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Elsewhere, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, 77.4pc of patients were seen in the four-hour window, while 80.6pc were at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, both still below the national average.
A spokesperson for the NNUH NHS Foundation Trust said the hospital's emergency team had faced an especially difficult few months.
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"The last few months have been particularly challenging with high numbers of emergency attendances and an increase in admissions," they said.
"Our emergency and urgent care staff are seeing on average more than 400 patients a day and are doing the best they can to assess and treat patients as quickly as possible.
"Teams across the trust are working hard to deal with the extra demand and appropriate escalation beds have been opened.
"Work is ongoing to build a new ward block at NNUH, which will be opening in early 2020 to create extra inpatient bed capacity and will help to aid patient flow from our emergency department."
In September, the hospital was given the green light to build a new three-storey ward extension, creating 70 new beds for patients and, it is hoped, relieving strain on its facilities.
The extension will be located between the hospital's two acute medical unit wards, providing extra space for the department and alleviating pressure on the emergency team.