MP seeks assurances from local hospital chief that A&E can cope this winter as Wirral waiting times hit record high

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20 Dec 2019
Margaret Greenwood MP has written to the Chief Executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Arrowe Park Hospital, to seek assurances that it can cope with demand at A&E this winter.

The Wirral West MP’s intervention comes as figures for November were the worst on record in Wirral, with 42.2% of patients waiting more than four hours to be discharged, admitted or transferred after arrival at A&E.

This continues a worrying trend which has seen the figures rise steeply since the summer:

June - 24.1%
July - 26.8%
August - 30.4%
September - 35.5%
October - 39.6%

The average number of patients waiting longer than four hours at A&Es across the country in November was 28.7%, although national guidelines aim for just 5%.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“These figures for waiting times at A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital are shocking. I am extremely concerned about the impact that they are having on patients and hard-working staff.

“In Wirral, the situation has got considerably worse over the past few months and I am calling on the management at Arrowe Park Hospital to provide assurances that there is a plan in place for the hospital to be able to meet demand this winter.

“During the recent election campaign, I heard accounts of 13 ambulances backed up outside A&E because there weren’t enough beds for patients.

“I have also received emails from constituents describing their experiences and some have agreed for me to share their stories.

“One person described a situation where an elderly relative, in her 80s, was taken to A&E by ambulance due to signs of dementia and a suspected stroke. She had to endure a nine hour wait before a relative took her home, and was then taken back to A&E the following day and waited for six hours before being admitted.

“Another described a situation where a critically ill person had to be carried to an elderly relative’s car and taken to A&E with no medical support because the wait for an ambulance was too long.

“Clearly, situations like these are harrowing and are placing unbelievable strain on patients and staff alike. It cannot go on.

“These appalling waiting times show the reality of government policy. The government is not funding our NHS properly and, as a result, it is at crisis point.”