Underperforming NHS hospitals ‘are being brought in to Cobra-style meetings’

More than a dozen underperforming NHS hospitals are being called into emergency meetings with ministers to deal with the handover delay crisis.

Chiefs from 15 hospitals, including Birmingham, Leicester and the South West, have been called to talks to outline ways they can discharge patients more quickly to free up hospital space.

The Cobra-style meetings are meant to commemorate those during the Covid pandemic, which has seen plans being drawn up to deal with the national emergency.

The 15 trusts log almost half of all ambulance delays nationwide – although England has around 200 trusts.

The crisis has left ambulances queuing 26 hours outside hospitals, heart attack patients waiting three hours for paramedics and more than 1,000 people a day are injured due to delays.

Ministers are expected to convene the central government of hospitals that are not showing rapid improvement in their handover delays ahead of the winter.

Officials have warned the NHS crisis is only set to get worse in the coming weeks as an influx of Covid and flu rates is expected to see thousands more Brits admitted.

Health Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government “should not be tolerant of those parts of the NHS that are underperforming”.

Ambulance response times recovered slightly in August, but the time it took paramedics to arrive at the scene was still well above target

Ambulance response times recovered slightly in August, but the time it took paramedics to arrive at the scene was still well above target

Ambulance response times recovered slightly in August, but the time it took paramedics to arrive at the scene was still well above target

Emergency department data shows that three in 10 Brits were forced to wait longer than four hours in emergency departments in August, while almost a thousand waited 12 hours a day

Emergency department data shows that three in 10 Brits were forced to wait longer than four hours in emergency departments in August, while almost a thousand waited 12 hours a day

Emergency department data shows that three in 10 Brits were forced to wait longer than four hours in emergency departments in August, while almost a thousand waited 12 hours a day

Health Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government

Health Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government

Health Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government “should not be tolerant of those parts of the NHS that are underperforming”.

NHS hospitals are still canceling more than 22,000 appointments a day

More than 22,000 hospital appointments are canceled every day – despite treatment waiting lists standing at a record 6.8 million today.

The Government has pledged to tackle the NHS care backlog, but appointments continue to be canceled for some patients on a number of occasions.

So far this year, the average number of cancellations per day has been 20 percent higher than before the pandemic, when around 18,000 were canceled every day.

The data comes from 78 trusts that responded to the Daily Telegraph’s freedom of information requests.

It’s not clear what the canceled appointments were for, but they may include X-rays and other medical scans

Daily cancellations were highest in 2020 – the first year of the pandemic – when they reached 24,561, before falling to 20,856 in 2021 and now rising again this year to 22,178.

In 2021, the number of appointments canceled five or more times was 30,267 – two-thirds more than 2019 (17,884).

That same year, the number of appointments canceled 10 times or more was 1,325 — a 50 percent increase from 2019, when there were 900, according to the data.

Some trusts clarified that appointments may be recorded as cancellations if they are moved to another part of the hospital or performed by a different doctor.

A source told The Telegraph that ministers are holding the meetings with NHS bosses from the worst performing hospitals.

They aim to create a plan to discharge patients faster, for example by using “virtual wards” that allow medical professionals to monitor patients from their homes using mobile technology.

The NHS says delays in discharge are putting pressure on bed capacity, with just 45 per cent of patients discharged on time in August.

This means that an average of 13,388 beds were occupied in England when they were not needed.

The aftermath sees ambulances queuing for hours while medics scramble to find a seat for their patient.

And around 1,000 A&E participants per day waited more than 12 hours for a place on a ward in August.

Difficulties in discharging patients have been blamed on the social care crisis – with insufficient staff to look after recovery at home, forcing the NHS to keep them in wards.

It comes as Dr. Coffey, speaking at a sideline at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday, said there was too much “variation” in patients’ experiences of the NHS.

The handover of the ambulances should take place in 15 minutes, none takes longer than half an hour.

But statistics show University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the worst offender, recorded 6,872 waits of more than an hour, which is five per cent of the national total.

By comparison, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, the 15th worst trust for the delays, recorded 2,571 – two per cent of the total.

Mr Jenrick said the Government “should not be tolerant of those parts of the NHS that underperform”.

The former finance and housing secretary told a Policy Exchange side event that dozens of hospitals are not treating patients on time, while others nearby have experienced significantly fewer delays.

According to The Times, Mr Jenrick said: “The statistics speak for themselves: 45 per cent of the delays we are seeing and ambulance handovers to emergency departments across the country involve 15 NHS hospital trusts.”

He said ministers were working with hospitals that are not providing acceptable levels of care to raise standards “very quickly”.

“And urgency and emergency care is probably the most urgent of those, I think – because we have such a short amount of time to get the NHS in place before winter,” he said, according to The Telegraph.

Figures from NHS England show 6.8 million patients were waiting in line for routine hospital treatment in July, the equivalent of one in eight people. Almost 380,000 have been waiting for over a year

Figures from NHS England show 6.8 million patients were waiting in line for routine hospital treatment in July, the equivalent of one in eight people. Almost 380,000 have been waiting for over a year

Figures from NHS England show 6.8 million patients were waiting in line for routine hospital treatment in July, the equivalent of one in eight people. Almost 380,000 have been waiting for over a year

Cancer patients starting treatment within two months of an urgent referral rose to 61.6 percent in July from 59.9 percent in June. But the number is below the 85 percent standard, not reached since 2014

Cancer patients starting treatment within two months of an urgent referral rose to 61.6 percent in July from 59.9 percent in June. But the number is below the 85 percent standard, not reached since 2014

Cancer patients starting treatment within two months of an urgent referral rose to 61.6 percent in July from 59.9 percent in June. But the number is below the 85 percent standard, not reached since 2014

However, he called for “boosterism” to be left aside, noting that the shortage of doctors and nurses was the main problem facing the health service.

The NHS is subject to “too many targets” and better judgment should be used in imposing them in the future.

However, the worst-ranked hospitals that “do not provide an acceptable level of care for their patients” should try to better improve their rating.

The Telegraph reported that he said: “This autumn and winter will be one of the most challenging the NHS has seen in its history.

‘[I want] to be very direct about the challenges the NHS is currently facing and not try to whitewash them.

Mr Jenrick admitted the NHS will need more money in the coming years due to the UK’s demographics – as an aging population is expected to see more Britons with chronic conditions in need of treatment.

He called for the NHS to be reformed to make it more efficient, for example by using more technology.


https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/underperforming-nhs-hospitals-are-being-dragged-in-for-cobra-style-meetings/ Underperforming NHS hospitals ‘are being brought in to Cobra-style meetings’

Brian Ashcraft

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