Wiltshire Publications

RUH appeals for help to ease pressure on A&E service

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THEBath Royal United Hospital (RUH) has appealed for help to ease pressure on its accident and emergency (A&E) service.

Figures for December 2019 show that 66% of RUH A&E patients were treated or admitted within four hours of arrival, compared to the NHS England target of 95%. Compared to December 2018, the RUH were seeing 19 more people a day in A&E.

Speaking to BBC’s Points West, the RUH’s medical director, Bernie Marden, attributed the rise in demand on its A&E service to an ‘early start’ to the flu season, and a ‘ever increasing frail and elderly population’.

A spokesperson from the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust added, “Like most NHS Trusts across the country, the RUH is a busy hospital all year round. We are experiencing above average numbers of patients who required admission. Dealing with rising demand and managing the discharge of patients requires a whole system response and we continue to work closely with our commissioners and partners in primary, social and community care settings.

“We would ask the public to help ease pressure on A&E staff by getting your flu vaccine, using the free NHS 111 phone and online service for urgent medical needs, seeing your local pharmacist for minor ailments and ensuring you have the medication you need.”

Across England, reports show that December 2019 was the worst month for hospitals since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004. President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said, “The NHS is struggling to escape its spiral of decline. With a record low in terms of four-hour performance and highest ever number of 12 hour waits, this will have been a miserable Christmas period for many patients and staff alike.”