Musgrove by Nick Chipchase
Musgrove Park Hospital. PHOTO: Nick Chipchase

Fewer A&E patients being seen within four hours at Musgrove and Weston

MUSGROVE Park and Weston General hospital are still failing to meet the Government’s target that patients going to A&E should be seen within four hours of admission.

Figures published by Somerset County Council show both hospitals have slipped further this target compared to the same period two years ago.

At Musgrove, the number of patients attending A&E in July (the most recent figures available) was 8.2% higher than two months earlier – the equivalent of an additional 555 admissions.

Of these, just 66.6 per cent were seen within four hours of admission.

Between April and July 2021 there were 27,147 admissions to Musgrove A&E – a rise of 3.7% compared to the same period in 2019/20, and the equivalent of 981 additional patients.

Within this group, 73.7% of patients were seen within four hours – down from 78.4% in the same period in 2019/20, which has been blamed on “a significant increase in demand across all urgent care pathways.”

Weston General saw 4,139 A&E attendances in July – around the same number as May – but only 71.1% of those patients were seen within four hours of being admitted.

Admissions fall

Between April and July, its admissions actually fell by 8.9% compared to the same period in 2019/20 – the equivalent of 1,554 fewer patients.

However, it still failed to meet the four-hour target, seeing 72.8% of patients in this time – lower than the 78.3% it achieved two years ago.

Michelle Skillings, head of performance at the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said Somerset’s GPs were trying to see as many patients as possible in spite of the ongoing pandemic, reducing the need for individuals to go straight to A&E.

She said in a report: “Patient demand has continued to remain high and the nationally mandated triage arrangements remain in place.

“Patients who need to be seen face to face continue to receive this type of appointment and in July 57.3 per cent of GP consultations were delivered face to face.”



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