JPH sees a slip in treatment targets

PUBLISHED: 07:29 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 October 2010


New figures have revealed a downturn in performance in the way one of the region's hospitals responds to heart attack victims.

New figures have revealed a downturn in performance in the way one of the region's hospitals responds to heart attack victims.

The data shows that the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston has slipped below government benchmark targets for getting critical clot-busting drug treatment to heart attack patients within 30 minutes of arrival at hospital.

The information was contained in the fifth public report from MINAP (the Myocardial Infarction National Audit Project).

The document, published yesterday, shows that in general across the UK, patients with a heart attack are being treated at a level of excellence that is unsurpassed anywhere in Europe with more patients receiving thrombolytic treatment within 60 minutes of calling for help than last year - a move which gives victims a better chance of survival.

Figures for JPH show that 63pc of patients in 2005-06 compared to 42pc the previous year received thrombolytic treatment within 60 minutes, against government targets of 68pc. But with a 75pc target for patients receiving the treatment within 30 minutes of arrival at hospital, JPH figures fell from 77pc in 2004-05 to 51pc last year.

No-one from JPH was willing to explain the change in performance yesterday.

The 30-minute figure for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital changed from 93pc to 92pc, while the 60-minute figure soared from 35pc to 69pc.

The national average for 30 minutes was 83pc - an area where hospitals were asked to show a 10pc improvement on the previous year. It was 58pc for the 60 minutes category, which reflects combined performance of the ambulance service, GPs and hospitals.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn saw improvements in both categories up from 91pc to 92pc (30 minutes) and 35pc to 51pc (60 minutes).

QEKL director of nursing Gwyneth Wilson said the trust was pleased with the improved figures, but said a key part of the results was working closely and good communication with the ambulance service

Similar figures for the West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds were 82pc to 81pc and 31pc to 59pc.

Hospitals in the region work closely with paramedics from the East Anglian Ambulance Trust on thrombolysis who can now administer the drugs to patients in the community, which means that heart attack sufferers often feel the benefit of the dugs while being transported to hospital.

The report contained ambulance figures for the first time with EAAT giving 63pc of patients thrombolysis within an hour of calling for help, placing it at the forefront of pre-hospital thrombolysis in the UK. An EAAT spokesman said: "Since we began giving the treatment to people prior to their arrival in hospital about 18 months ago, we have played a massive role in speeding up the call-to-needle time."

In the past 18 months, EAAT paramedics have thrombolysed nearly 700 patients in the community.

Work on the report was performed at the Royal College of Physicians' Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit.

Dr John Birkhead, MINAP Clinical Director, said: "This large audit confirms the provision of a high standard of care to people suffering heart attack.

"It allows those hospitals performing less well to put in place policies to improve performance, and ambulance services to work with hospitals to deliver even more rapid treatments."

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