Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital fell short of Government A&E target from October – December, committee told

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) missed the Government’s accident and emergency waiting time target at the end of last year, a meeting heard. 

Figures show that all of Devon’s health hubs felt short of Whitehall’s aim for 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours of arriving.

From October to December, 81.5 per cent of people were seen within the timeframe at the RD&E.

The figure was 84.6 per cent in North Devon and 79.3 per cent in Torbay.

Councillor Claire Wright, who represents the Otter Valley ward, had asked for accident and emergency waiting times to be discussed at Thursday’s Devon County Council’s (DCC) Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee.

She had requested a verbal report from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to be provided to the committee on the local situation.

Cllr Wright said: “I wanted a verbal report from the CCG on this, but there is no-one here from the CCG, so not much I can say.

“There was a proposal from the Secretary of State for Health that the four-hour waiting times should be scrapped and there was an uproar about that, so my question was going to be what does the situation look like locally?

Tim Golby, joint associate director of commissioning for DCC and the Devon CCG, was at the meeting, but was not expecting to be reporting or answering questions on the agenda item.

He did provide some rough figures to the committee and confirmed that the 95 per cent target was not being met by any of the NHS trusts in Devon.

Mr Golby said: “There are significant levels of pressure in the system and I would expect that to continue until March/April.”

He outlined that actual attendances of people do not go up in the winter, but they do for people who have greater acuity and complexity of their reasons for seeking emergency medical help.

Cllr Wright said she was grateful to Mr Golby for stepping in and providing some answers, but asked whether a specific invite to the Devon CCG had been expected.

Democratic services officer Gerry Rufolo said that they were aware of the item on the agenda, adding: “There was an expectation they might have been here, but they aren’t.”

The figures for October to December show that, in North Devon, 84.6 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, 81.5 per cent at the RD&E, and 79.3 per cent in Torbay.

In December, 84.9 per cent were seen within four hours in North Devon, 80.9 per cent at the RD&E and 77.9 per cent in Torbay.

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