Targets missed as Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has its busiest ever month for emergencies

Ambulances parked up outside the accident and emergency department of the Norfolk and Norwich Univer

Ambulances parked up outside the accident and emergency department of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Steve Adams

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) coped with a record number of emergency patients in October.

The hospital's busiest ever month for emergency admissions saw 5,503 patients treated, according to a report to the N&N's board yesterday. And 9,341 people walked into Accident and Emergency.

The demands led to extra pressure on hospital space and beds.

Chief executive Anna Dugdale told the board the hospital was 'exceptionally' busy in October.

'It was our busiest month by quite a long way,' she said.

You may also want to watch:

There was a rise in cancelled operations and A&E targets were missed.

But death rates, infection rates and complaints remained low.

Most Read

In October, 87pc of patients were seen within four hours at A&E – below the target of 95pc – but Ms Dugdale said that had improved to 90pc in November so far.

Ms Dugdale put the A&E performance down to a rise in delayed discharges which meant the hospital had fewer free beds.

The number of admitted patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment rocketed by 50pc to 806.

Again the rise was put down to 'significant' pressures on the emergency department. Theatres being given to cancer patients at the expense of other patients and medical vacancies in plastic surgery, and dermatology, also sparked the long waits.

The report said the trust's capacity to meet the patient waiting targets was a 'significant' concern.

Targets were missed in six specialities – general surgery, trauma, orthopaedics, ear nose and throat, plastic surgery, gynaecology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology.

A total of 137 operations were cancelled on the day because of a lack of beds between August and October, compared to 53 in the same period last year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter