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Staff praised as trust hits A&E waiting time target for third month in a row

Colchester Hospital has hit A&E waiting time targets for the third month in a row Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Colchester Hospital has hit A&E waiting time targets for the third month in a row Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Dedicated staff at Colchester Hospital have been heralded as new figures show the trust has smashed the national A&E waiting time target for the third month in a row.

Ipswich Hospital ha improved A&E waiting times Picture: PHIL MORLEYIpswich Hospital ha improved A&E waiting times Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Statistics for May show the hospital has once again hit the NHS standard of seeing 95% of patients within four hours of arrival at the emergency department.

The latest figures exceeded April’s results despite an increase in the number of people visiting A&E.

The Essex hospital managed to see 97.5% of patients within the four-hour window, compared with 95.6% for April.

Colchester was only lifted out of special measures in November and the latest statistics see the hospital well above the national average for May of 90.4%.

West Suffolk Hospital has improved its A&E waiting times Picture: GREGG BROWNWest Suffolk Hospital has improved its A&E waiting times Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Hospital, which will merge with Colchester this summer, fell below the national standard for May, achieving 91.7%, but this was still a vast improvement for the Heath Road site, which achieved 88.3% in April.

Jan Ingle, head of communications for the trust, said: “Keeping our promise to patients that you will be seen within four hours is very important to us.

“These latest figures show that we are achieving this consistently at Colchester Hospital.

“It’s really pleasing to see and it shows that all the hard work of staff is coming to fruition. We have a little way to go at Ipswich Hospital to meet and exceed this national access standard.”

West Suffolk Hospital received an outstanding rating from the CQC in January Picture: GREGG BROWNWest Suffolk Hospital received an outstanding rating from the CQC in January Picture: GREGG BROWN

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds failed to hit the national performance standard, achieving 93.7% in May.

But this was also a significant improvement on the hospital’s figures for April when 85% of patients were seen within four hours.

The figures from NHS England show the total A&E attendances and emergency admissions rose at all three hospitals in May compared to April.

Helen Beck, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Although a difficult winter may be over, we continue to see high patient demand in our emergency department. We had 6,498 attendances in May this year, compared to 5,971 in May 2017 – that’s an increase of 8.8%.

“We strive to meet the 95% A&E performance standard and continue to improve in this area, with 93.7% of our patients being seen within four hours in May, above the average in England of 90.4%.

“This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff who work tirelessly to ensure a good, timely service.”

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