NHS Lothian A&Es coping well with winter


NHS LOTHIAN is continuing to hit a key Scottish government target on accident and emergency waits despite the pressures of winter, according to the latest performance figures.

Accident and emergency departments across Lothian, including Scotland's biggest A& E at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, have seen and treated more than 98% of patients within the four hour limit consistently since mid-January.

The performance shows how major investments made by NHS Lothian last year are continuing to pay off.

James McCaffery, the Director of Acute Services, University Hospitals Division, NHS Lothian said:

"The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is Scotland's busiest Accident and Emergency department, treating some 9,000 people a month. Last year we made some important changes to the workings of the Accident and Emergency department to better support staff in their vital roles, and these changes have strengthened the performance of Accident and Emergency despite the most intense pressure. These impressive performance figures are a tribute to the hard work of staff in suggesting and supporting changes which are clearly paying off for patients."

The alterations included the appointment of "flow navigators" - special staff who help co-ordinate care for patients - and the provision of dedicated space for emergency nurses to see and treat people with minor injuries.

Internal figures from NHS Lothian show that 99.4% of people were seen and treated within 4 hours at the Royal Infirmary's A& E department in the week ending 13th February. Performance for the same week at St John's was 99.1% and 99% at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

ISD Scotland is publishing performance data today (Tues, 26th March) for the quarter from October to December 2007. This shows NHS Lothian's A and E performance in the month of December as being 97% of patients seen and treated within four hours.