West Mid: Failing to hit targets
West Middlesex University Hospital is among the worst in the country for seeing accident and emergency patients within four hours, figures have revealed.
Only 78.7 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours, according to the NHS, a level well below its 95 per cent target.
It was one of 127 major NHS trusts missing the target - with just 20 A&E departments performing worse than West Mid - while 13 hit the 95 per cent mark.
NHS England compiled the data over a week in which 1,159 patients visiting the department, 78 down on the previous week, with 387 needing to be admitted to the hospital.
A West Mid spokesman said: “A&E is often seen as the first port of call for people who are unwell and not sure where to go for help.
“However, their expertise is in treating people who are seriously ill and require immediate treatment for life threatening conditions.
“Examples of this include persistent, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, badly broken bones, loss of consciousness and confusion or fits.
“People attending the hospital as ‘walk-in’ cases are assessed and prioritised depending on the nature of their illness and either seen in the Hounslow Urgent Care Centre, which treats minor injuries and illnesses requiring urgent treatment, or in our A&E department.
“While we would always rather rule out something serious there are a range of NHS services that are better able to treat and advise people with less serious conditions.”
It also advised consulting your GP as a first port of call or ringing the NHS 111 service for free health advice and information.
The national average is at its lowest level for a decade, according to figures.
Between October and December 92.6 per cent of patients were seen in four hours, below the 95 per cent target.
In contrast, Kingston Hospital, which also serves Richmond residents, had a much higher rate of patients seen within four hours - 92.3 per cent.
Sheffield Children's Foundation Trust was the best performer at 98.8 per cent, while the University Hospitals of North Midlands came rock bottom with 61.3 per cent.
Dr Cliff Mann, of the College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC News hospitals are reaching a “tipping point”.
He said: “My concern is the daily intolerable pressure is starting to have an effect on staff - they are more likely to become sick, become unable to work, burn out and choose to go into other professions.
“That means it is not a sustainable situation.”