Nearly a quarter of Calderdale and Huddersfield patients wait longer than four hours in A and E

Almost a quarter of patients who turned up at A and E in Calderdale and Huddersfield last month had to wait more than four hours to be seen.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:39 pm
Calderdale Royal Hospital
Calderdale Royal Hospital

According to NHS data, 23 per cent of the 13,994 patients who went to Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary were faced with the long wait.

The figure is slightly better than the national average of 26 per cent but is a steep increase from the 17 per cent of patients who had the same wait two years ago.

The number of emergency admissions in Calderdale and Huddersfield without a bed on a ward within four hours of being admitted in November rose from 13 per cent in 2019 to a worrying 28 per cent this year.

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The national average was 32 per cent.

The British Medical Association has said the situation on the NHS front line right now is "perilous".

Dr Simon Walsh, BMA Consultants Committee Deputy Chair, said: “The record waiting list is now at almost six million, and doctors and their colleagues are incredibly concerned for the welfare of their patients who have been waiting months on end for the care they need, with more than 312,000 waiting for longer than a year – 237 times the number in October 2019.

"Doctors are continuing to do their absolute best – evidenced in the proportion of patients being seen within 18 weeks increasing – but they are looking with immense trepidation at the insurmountable task in the coming weeks, months and years ahead.

“In emergency departments this winter, the problems are dire.

"It’s clear that hospitals simply do not have the capacity to cope, with problems discharging patients and moving people to wards all having a knock-on effect that ultimately leads to these delays in emergency departments and indeed ambulance services.

“We know this is a huge problem for our members, with three-quarters of doctors with relevant experience telling a recent survey that discharging patients, including to adult social care, has become more difficult in the last year – and more than eight in 10 saying they are experiencing more delays to admission compared to one year ago.

“This is even before we consider the impact of a potential further spike in Covid-related hospitalisations in the coming weeks.

“This winter is likely to be the most difficult any of us working on the frontline have ever faced – and we are very worried about the impact on patients.

"Eight in 10 doctors in our survey said they were more concerned than a year ago that patients would come to harm because of delays in admitting them to hospital, while a similar proportion said they were not confident about their department’s ability to manage demand this winter. Around eight in 10 also said they were anxious at the prospect of work in the coming weeks and months.

“We urgently need to see how the Government plans to address the backlog and support staff both this winter and in the longer-term.

“And while yesterday’s announcement on further measures to stem the spread of Covid-19 in the face of the highly-transmissable Omicron variant were a necessary step, everyone can do their bit to help the NHS and look after themselves and one another by being as cautious as possible this festive season, and crucially, by taking up the offer of a vaccine or booster when it comes their way.”