Emergency hospital patients face a longer wait in Sunderland

Sunderland Royal Hospital entrance
Sunderland Royal Hospital entrance
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PATIENTS are waiting longer in accident and emergency departments according to a new study.

A national survey of NHS A&E departments shows that waiting times are growing.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published results from the fourth national A&E survey, which looked at 147 NHS trusts in England.

Almost 46,000 people who attended A&E departments during January, February or March this year completed the survey.

Around three-quarters of people still felt that doctors and nurses had listened to them, while 83 per cent said new medications were completely explained to them before they were discharged.

There was also a big increase in those saying they had enough privacy when discussing conditions with receptionists, which rose seven per cent to 48 per cent.

However, some key areas have continued to get worse since the 2004 survey, with the number of people who said they spent more than four hours in A&E rising to 33 per cent from 23 per cent in 2004 and 27 per cent in 2008.

A total of 33 per cent said that they waited more than half an hour before they were seen by a doctor or a nurse, up from 24 per cent in 2004 and 29 per cent in 2008.

And nearly 60 per cent were not told how long they would have to wait to be examined, compared with 56 per cent in 2004 and 2008.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust patients marked its hospitals 8.1 out of 10 for facilities but just 6.4 for reception and waiting.

Patients visiting hospitals in County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust also marked the facilities 8.1.

But information about waiting times before examinations earned the trust a score of just 3.3 and 5.8 overall for reception and waiting times.

David Behan, CQC chief executive, said: “The important issue is that people who need to be treated urgently, do not have to wait, it is disappointing therefore that people have said they have to wait longer to be treated than four years ago.

“People should be seen, diagnosed, treated and admitted or discharged as quickly as possible and this is an issue that trusts need to urgently tackle.

“It is however encouraging to see that peoples perceptions of trust in clinicians and cleanliness continuing to be high and more people than ever saying that they have enough privacy when discussing conditions with receptionists.

“CQC is committed to reflecting the experiences of people who use services in our inspection work.”

A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland said: “This is a very satisfactory set of results and we pleased that we continue to offer our patients the best quality service.

“We monitor our service constantly to ensure our standards are of the very highest – thanks to all staff for their continued dedication to the people of Sunderland and their versatility and professionalism during what we know are extremely busy times.”

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