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Hospital treats record number of patients and maintains national standards

17 June 2015

Health Care

Southend University Hospital’s A&E saw an unprecedented peak of 2,048 patients last week, the first time the department has ever seen more than 2,000 patients in a week.

Dedicated staff at the hospital still managed to achieve the national standard with over 96% of patients being seen, treated and either admitted or discharged within four hours.

This achievement closely follows the emergency department's success at the start of June in treating 100% of patients within the four-hour target two days running and recording the best performance against the target across the whole of Essex.

Dr Caroline Howard, clinical director and consultant emergency medicine, said:  "An enormous amount of work has taken place to ensure our patients are seen as quickly as possible and we are delighted that our work to ensure our continued resilience against peaks of attendance has really made a difference. However we continue to see a large number of people who attend the department who could be managed by their GP - at least 50 people per day. This impacts the service we  deliver to those who truly need us in an emergency."

In addition to the emergency demand the trust has also treated record numbers of elective patients and achieved the three 18-week referral to treatment (RTT) standards for the last three months.

The trust is well on track to achieve these standards in June with over 2,000 patients treated or booked to have their first treatment in June which again is significantly higher than any previous month.

Jon Findlay, chief operating officer, said: "Delivering this improved performance against a backdrop of rising demand requires extraordinary efforts from all groups of staff working together to deliver safe care. Our staff should feel very proud of what they have achieved and we are very grateful for their continued dedication and support."