'Trolley waits' hit high for trust that oversees Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Care provider Visiting Angels in Huntingdon is backing a national campaign to highlight the signs of a stroke. 

Over 900 patients in hospitals under the North West Anglia Trust spent up to 12 hours or more waiting to be admitted onto a ward last month. - Credit: PA Images

More than 900 patients in hospitals under one trust spent up to 12 hours or more waiting to be admitted onto a ward last month, figures reveal. 

NHS England data shows the number of patients at hospitals under the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) who passed both the four-hour and 12-hour waiting times every month since January 2021. 

In September 904 people had to wait on a trolley – a stark rise from the trust’s lowest figure of 219 in April. 

Figures show a gradual increase from earlier this year with 715 in June, 694 in July and 823 in August. 

NWAFT oversees Peterborough City Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Stamford & Rutland Hospital. 

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, due to staff shortages has had to suspend home births

Hinchingbrooke Hospital - Credit: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Trolley waits refer to those patients in A&E who are waiting for a bed on a ward.  

Breaches are classified at both four hours from a decision to admit (DTA) to admission and 12 hours (a serious breach). 

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The figures are another reminder of the huge pressures staff and the health system are under before the NHS hits its busiest period.   

Phil Walmsley, Chief Operating Officer said: “When there are significant pressures on our bed capacity, this can have a knock-on effect of patients waiting longer than we would like to get onto a ward, although we will ensure they are closely monitored and receiving the care they require.  

“We are working with partners to improve our ability to discharge medically fit patients as soon as they are ready, so patients can be moved from the emergency department to a vacant bed on a ward.  

“We are also increasing alternative patient pathways so that patients can access the right service, first time and avoid attending the emergency department where possible.” 

More than 100,000 people in England spent more than four hours waiting on a trolley in September 2021, the highest number since records began. 

And lack of beds in the care sector for recovering patients has been identified as a problem at every regional hospital - there is a lack of places for recovering patients to go which makes finding room for new patients harder.