Hospital boss hits back at report over waiting time

Southend Standard: Southend Hospital - shortening waiting times Southend Hospital - shortening waiting times

THE chief executive of Southend Hospital says waiting times have improved.

Figures released in December showed a sharp rise in complaints, particularly in Accident and Emergency, from patients angry at delays while waiting for treatment.

However, chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell says the department has seen a vast improvement in the percentage of patients who are seen within four hours.

She said: “Our A&E staff are under enormous pressure at the moment and I think they are coping extremely well.

“We need to support them when the going gets really tough because they’re doing a fantastic job under very difficult circumstances.

“They have to treat what comes through the door with no way of knowing whether there’s one ambulance or 20.

“They’re trying their best with a big influx of patients over which they have no control.”

In December there was a 72 per cent increase in complaints compared to the same month in 2012.

The emergency department failed to meet its target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours, with only 85.9 per cent seen in the target time during December.

However, last week the department saw 96.2 per cent of patients, a vast improvement on recent figures.

Mrs Totterdell says the hospital plans to work with healthcare colleagues in the community to help prevent people with long term illnesses becoming so unwell they require hospital treatment – a step she hopes will improve Accident and Emergency waiting times.

She said: “Emergency care is not just about the hospital; it’s about what is happening in the health economy to help patients with long term conditions who are becoming sick.

“We often have people coming into Accident and Emergency who have had a problem for two or three weeks, but we’re there to address urgent problems and that’s what makes life difficult.

“We want to work with our colleagues in the community and general practice to look at ways we can spot patients with long term conditions becoming so ill that they need to come to hospital.”

As well as this, Mrs Totterdell says there are natural factors which can lead to an increase in waiting times.

She added: “We have an ageing population here in Southend, and we also have sicker patients at this time of year, which contributes to waiting times.”

Comments (16)

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3:16pm Sun 9 Feb 14

emcee says...

I have also found that it is very rare to be seen within 30 minutes of your appointment time for certain clinics. Often it is an hour or more beyond the time of your appointment before you get seen.
I have also found that it is very rare to be seen within 30 minutes of your appointment time for certain clinics. Often it is an hour or more beyond the time of your appointment before you get seen. emcee

3:45pm Sun 9 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

I know of at least three people who are not satisfied with Southend Hospital and thats in my small world so how many others are not. I am also fed up with all hospitals saying we have an ageing propulation, it is volume of people not just elderly - guess what the countries population is expanding and you have to move with it not make cuts. As for waiting times there is no excuse for people to wait in ambulances before being checked in. I have visite A&E with relatives and there are plenty wandering around not doing anything.
I know of at least three people who are not satisfied with Southend Hospital and thats in my small world so how many others are not. I am also fed up with all hospitals saying we have an ageing propulation, it is volume of people not just elderly - guess what the countries population is expanding and you have to move with it not make cuts. As for waiting times there is no excuse for people to wait in ambulances before being checked in. I have visite A&E with relatives and there are plenty wandering around not doing anything. jolllyboy

5:04pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Erastothenes says...

Surely the population everywhere is ageing at the same rate.
Surely the population everywhere is ageing at the same rate. Erastothenes

6:12pm Sun 9 Feb 14

lonestar_1 says...

My 81 year old Mother waited in A&E for around 6 hours recently !
My 81 year old Mother waited in A&E for around 6 hours recently ! lonestar_1

6:31pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

jolllyboy wrote:
I know of at least three people who are not satisfied with Southend Hospital and thats in my small world so how many others are not. I am also fed up with all hospitals saying we have an ageing propulation, it is volume of people not just elderly - guess what the countries population is expanding and you have to move with it not make cuts. As for waiting times there is no excuse for people to wait in ambulances before being checked in. I have visite A&E with relatives and there are plenty wandering around not doing anything.
No one has waited in an ambulance outside A&E in Southend have they?
Or have they?
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: I know of at least three people who are not satisfied with Southend Hospital and thats in my small world so how many others are not. I am also fed up with all hospitals saying we have an ageing propulation, it is volume of people not just elderly - guess what the countries population is expanding and you have to move with it not make cuts. As for waiting times there is no excuse for people to wait in ambulances before being checked in. I have visite A&E with relatives and there are plenty wandering around not doing anything.[/p][/quote]No one has waited in an ambulance outside A&E in Southend have they? Or have they? Keptquiettillnow

6:41pm Sun 9 Feb 14

runwellian says...

I have been admitted via 'resus' and A&E at least three time in the last quarter. On some occasions the wait has been a little longer but if there aren't beds on wards to move folk on, do we want them on trolleys in corridors?

Patients wait in ambulances to reduce the recorded 'waiting time in A&E' so surely that restriction needs lifting to allow urgent cases to get the care they need rather than suffer in the backs of vehicles?

It is okay the government having targets but they don't think about what happens to folk when a target, for whatever reason, cannot be met.

Folk also get mixed up with departments, there is general A&E, always extremely bust with folk that should have gone to their GP, not forgetting the weekend 'drunks' who should be banned, then there is 'majors' for ambulance patients with more serious problems, and 'resus' where your life can be saved!

Everyone works hard, my experience of 'having to wait a bit longer' doesn't mean I am not cared for, or that I have am left on trolley in a corridor.

Perhaps it is time the government realised that targets are fine but have to take into account facilities available, numbers of spare beds, where staff can move folk to , otu of A&E!

Perhaps they should triage patients at the door and send away anyone under the influence or drink / drugs and minor ailments that should be dealt with in a GP surgery, now that would reduce waiting times massively … sometimes if is not A&E that is at fault but the folk using / abusing sing it!
I have been admitted via 'resus' and A&E at least three time in the last quarter. On some occasions the wait has been a little longer but if there aren't beds on wards to move folk on, do we want them on trolleys in corridors? Patients wait in ambulances to reduce the recorded 'waiting time in A&E' so surely that restriction needs lifting to allow urgent cases to get the care they need rather than suffer in the backs of vehicles? It is okay the government having targets but they don't think about what happens to folk when a target, for whatever reason, cannot be met. Folk also get mixed up with departments, there is general A&E, always extremely bust with folk that should have gone to their GP, not forgetting the weekend 'drunks' who should be banned, then there is 'majors' for ambulance patients with more serious problems, and 'resus' where your life can be saved! Everyone works hard, my experience of 'having to wait a bit longer' doesn't mean I am not cared for, or that I have am left on trolley in a corridor. Perhaps it is time the government realised that targets are fine but have to take into account facilities available, numbers of spare beds, where staff can move folk to , otu of A&E! Perhaps they should triage patients at the door and send away anyone under the influence or drink / drugs and minor ailments that should be dealt with in a GP surgery, now that would reduce waiting times massively … sometimes if is not A&E that is at fault but the folk using / abusing sing it! runwellian

7:09pm Sun 9 Feb 14

RochfordRob says...

I imagine that genuine cases are dealt with promptly and correctly - those people are hardly likely to complain. P*ssed up hooligans and dopes with saucepans stuck on their head are bound to whinge on.


The hospital can't win given the throughput of unnecessary 'A&E' cases.

Why not introduce a triage service - they had one at Basildon once - sorted the wheat from the chaff pronto.
I imagine that genuine cases are dealt with promptly and correctly - those people are hardly likely to complain. P*ssed up hooligans and dopes with saucepans stuck on their head are bound to whinge on. The hospital can't win given the throughput of unnecessary 'A&E' cases. Why not introduce a triage service - they had one at Basildon once - sorted the wheat from the chaff pronto. RochfordRob

7:57pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Bubbsie says...

Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service,
Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service, Bubbsie

9:03pm Sun 9 Feb 14

a.nonnymouse says...

They do triage every patient.
There is a finite number of beds in the hospital. If there are no spare beds, A&E gets backed up, hence the wait. Doesn't mean you don't get cared for while waitng.
When it appears the Doctors and Nurses are standing around 'doing nothing' they're usually waiting for test results and other procedures to be done before they can go back to their patient , which takes time, and either discharge them or admit them. The government sets a target of 4 hours for all that to be done,and the hospital gets fined every time a patient breaches that four hours and also if a patient brought in by ambulance isn't seen within minutes. Money that could be spent on more staff maybe?
The whole system would of course work much more smoothly if the department was used as it should be...the clue's in the title.
They do triage every patient. There is a finite number of beds in the hospital. If there are no spare beds, A&E gets backed up, hence the wait. Doesn't mean you don't get cared for while waitng. When it appears the Doctors and Nurses are standing around 'doing nothing' they're usually waiting for test results and other procedures to be done before they can go back to their patient , which takes time, and either discharge them or admit them. The government sets a target of 4 hours for all that to be done,and the hospital gets fined every time a patient breaches that four hours and also if a patient brought in by ambulance isn't seen within minutes. Money that could be spent on more staff maybe? The whole system would of course work much more smoothly if the department was used as it should be...the clue's in the title. a.nonnymouse

9:12pm Sun 9 Feb 14

cgb says...

Actually having had to visit A&E a few times for GENUINE emergencies ( take note a lot of people) in the last few months I was impressed and amazed at how they were dealing with so many people. My treatment was second to none and the staff were sooooo busy but bothered to explain stuff to me and get me well again. There were certainly none walking around with nothing to do- they were all exceptionally busy but coping with the stress well
Actually having had to visit A&E a few times for GENUINE emergencies ( take note a lot of people) in the last few months I was impressed and amazed at how they were dealing with so many people. My treatment was second to none and the staff were sooooo busy but bothered to explain stuff to me and get me well again. There were certainly none walking around with nothing to do- they were all exceptionally busy but coping with the stress well cgb

9:22pm Sun 9 Feb 14

Almeda11 says...

Bubbsie wrote:
Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service,
For one thing we need more hospitals, Southend covers far too large an area.
And the walk in gp centre, next to Aand E, well how many people even know that?
lit is up to gp practices and Southend Hospital to publicise that sort of information, loud and clear, so that people are aware of it. Staying silent achieves nothing.
[quote][p][bold]Bubbsie[/bold] wrote: Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service,[/p][/quote]For one thing we need more hospitals, Southend covers far too large an area. And the walk in gp centre, next to Aand E, well how many people even know that? lit is up to gp practices and Southend Hospital to publicise that sort of information, loud and clear, so that people are aware of it. Staying silent achieves nothing. Almeda11

6:05am Mon 10 Feb 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

no they havn't ,I waited in orthepedic outpaients for 1 hour 10 minutes last week and week before. Elderly patients with walking difficulties had to stand for ages. Lots of younger people bring there whole family ,last week there was a mother, father, 4 children and a grandmother. Also they have taken away some very valuable seating . Even my consultant told me to complain. He said that they only get 5 minutes a patient and this is not long enough, no it not long enough but if they allocated longer our appointment waiting time would be months instead of weeks. It is a no win situation
no they havn't ,I waited in orthepedic outpaients for 1 hour 10 minutes last week and week before. Elderly patients with walking difficulties had to stand for ages. Lots of younger people bring there whole family ,last week there was a mother, father, 4 children and a grandmother. Also they have taken away some very valuable seating . Even my consultant told me to complain. He said that they only get 5 minutes a patient and this is not long enough, no it not long enough but if they allocated longer our appointment waiting time would be months instead of weeks. It is a no win situation CHRISTMAS CAROL

6:16am Mon 10 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Almeda11 wrote:
Bubbsie wrote:
Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service,
For one thing we need more hospitals, Southend covers far too large an area.
And the walk in gp centre, next to Aand E, well how many people even know that?
lit is up to gp practices and Southend Hospital to publicise that sort of information, loud and clear, so that people are aware of it. Staying silent achieves nothing.
Maybe Richard Branson and his mates can fix it. Its being run down deliberately so that Branson and the like can take something away that has been paid for by tax payers money for free. Then they will make profit from health.
[quote][p][bold]Almeda11[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bubbsie[/bold] wrote: Southend Hospital covers a large area, Doctors have ward rounds as well as covering A&E especially at night, next to A&E in the Fracture clinic there is a out of hours GP service, A lot of people with minor complaints, could go there instead but they don't tend to use it. This would free up A&E staff for patients who are in Greater need of the service,[/p][/quote]For one thing we need more hospitals, Southend covers far too large an area. And the walk in gp centre, next to Aand E, well how many people even know that? lit is up to gp practices and Southend Hospital to publicise that sort of information, loud and clear, so that people are aware of it. Staying silent achieves nothing.[/p][/quote]Maybe Richard Branson and his mates can fix it. Its being run down deliberately so that Branson and the like can take something away that has been paid for by tax payers money for free. Then they will make profit from health. Keptquiettillnow

9:33am Mon 10 Feb 14

Nelly99 says...

To speak from experience I can say that on a recent stay for an operation I was very impressed with the way the hospital was run. I expected a bit of chaos but everything was done properly and the staff were amazing. Of course you do have to wait a long time when arriving for appointments and I can't speak for A & E but I imagine that it isn't in their remit to reject anybody, drunk or not!
To speak from experience I can say that on a recent stay for an operation I was very impressed with the way the hospital was run. I expected a bit of chaos but everything was done properly and the staff were amazing. Of course you do have to wait a long time when arriving for appointments and I can't speak for A & E but I imagine that it isn't in their remit to reject anybody, drunk or not! Nelly99

6:30am Tue 11 Feb 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Yes one man died because he passed out in the corridor and the staff thought he was drunk and ignored him but he wasnt drunk he had had had a fit
Yes one man died because he passed out in the corridor and the staff thought he was drunk and ignored him but he wasnt drunk he had had had a fit CHRISTMAS CAROL

6:13pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Ghost_Rider says...

Perhaps Jacky Totty would like the A&E management team talk about this. I like the way she is hiding the fact that the department only has THREE permanent emergency medicine consultants.

You'd be better off at Basildon folks.
Perhaps Jacky Totty would like the A&E management team talk about this. I like the way she is hiding the fact that the department only has THREE permanent emergency medicine consultants. You'd be better off at Basildon folks. Ghost_Rider

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