HEALTH bosses in Lothian have announced a new minor injuries unit is to be built to relieve pressure on Accident & Emergency amid growing concern about excessive waiting times.
In a letter to staff, NHS Lothian chief executive Tim Davison said the new unit would also ease overcrowding.
It is more than a year since NHS Lothian met the waiting time target for 95 per cent of patients at accident and emergency to be seen within four hours. The last the target was hit was October 29, 2017.
Since that date, more than 38,000 patients have had to wait more than four hours in A&E in NHS Lothian hospitals.
In his letter, Mr Davison said: “You may already be aware of the sustained and focused work underway across NHS Lothian to help improve our performance against the four-hour waiting time standard for emergency care.
“As part of that wide-reaching programme of work, our teams have been working with an external support group to create new improvement solutions.
“They are working to boost performance in the Emergency Department to ensure that patients are treated as swiftly as possible and where possible within the agreed four-hour access standard.
“I’m delighted to say that work is already underway to build a new Minor Injuries Unit which will help relieve some of the pressure on the Emergency Department and reduce over-crowding.”
He said it was also important to prevent inappropriate attendance at A&E, improve patient flow through the hospitals and reduce delay in discharges.
“We all know how vital this work is, particularly as we head into the busy winter season and we’re really pleased to see that the range of measures put in place so far have already begun to show encouraging results.
“Emergency department waiting time figures for the last month show a trend of better performance – around 10 per cent or more up on previous figures. The goal is for this figure to rise to a consistent showing of a further 10 per cent, so that over a sustained period we are hitting the target of 95 per cent of patients in ED being seen, admitted or sent home within four hours.”
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