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13 May 2014, 06:05
The Queen Alexandra (QA) Hospital in Portsmouth says it's working hard to improve waiting times in accident and emergency, after being heavily fined.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will have to pay around £900,000 in total. The hospital's been fined £245,000 for not seeing enough patients within four hours and £667,000 for keeping ambulance crews waiting.
Officials say it's down to a huge rise in the number of people going to A&E and they have now freed up emergency staff by bringing in GPs to help.
A Trust spokesperson said:
"Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust aspires for all patients to receive treatment in a timely way according to their clinical need. We make every effort to ensure patient experience is of a high standard and place patients at the centre of everything we do.
"We strive to ensure that patients coming into the Emergency Department (ED) are seen within four hours of arrival; however we have recently experienced an unprecedented increase in attendances to the department.
"It is universally recognised that ambulance wait times are related to multiple factors such as public demand, ambulance activity and availability of primary and community care options which act as an alternative to transfer to hospital.
"The trust has been working closely with South Central Ambulance Service and other community providers to improve handovers. One initiative has involved using local GP's to see minor illness and injuries allowing the Emergency Department staff to attend to the more urgent patients. As a result of these changes a marked improvement in performance has been achieved."