Hospitals miss A&E target

Staff shortages are to blame for Southend, Basildon and Broomfield hospitals missing their target for A&E waiting times.

The Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust, which runs all three hospitals, saw only 74.5 per cent of A&E patients within four hours. The target is 95 per cent.

The national average is 74 per cent of patients, and across the east of England 71.6 per cent of patients are seen.

Bosses have pledged to use agency staff to plug the gap.

In a report to the trust board, director of planning and performance Naresh Chenani said: “Nursing and medical staffing challenges are common across all three emergency departments as a significant contributing factor to the deterioration in performance from July.

“This situation has been exacerbated by limited nursing staff levels across all three hospital sites, which has affected flow out of the emergency department, and the ability to open escalation capacity.

“The trust is looking to mitigate nursing and medical staffing challenges through a combination of substantive recruitment and the implementation of short-term measures, such as bank and agency staff, and further incentives are scheduled.”

A spokesperson for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is part of a wider national picture, and like other Trusts we are seeing a high demand in our A&E departments. We are working closely with local NHS and social care providers to respond to

The latest figures all relate to November 2021.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter