A&E waiting times worst for a decade

A&E waiting times worst for a decade

Council leader Ruth Dombey

Councillor Mary Burstow

Save St Helier Hospital

St Helier Hospital

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter covering Wandsworth

Sutton’s councillors are up in arms following the revelation that A&E waiting times are at their worst level for a decade.

A health think-tank, The King’s Fund, found that nationally more than 230,000 patients waited more than four hours to be seen in casualty wards in the last three months of 2012.

That is 38 per cent more than the previous quarter and in breach government targets.

Councillors are calling for an end to the review, Better Services Better Value (BSBV), which has threatened St Helier Hospital’s A&E with closure.

Ruth Dombey, leader of Sutton Council, said: “These shocking figures are further proof that it would be utter madness to increase waiting times even more by closing St Helier Hospital’s A&E department.

"The other hospitals will not be able to cope.

"Sutton Council will continue the fight to save St Helier’s vital services for the residents of the borough.”

This week a leaked BSBV document revealed the odds stacked against St Helier Hospital retaining its A&E.

Councillor Mary Burstow, the chair of Sutton Council’s scrutiny committee said: “It is clear that the whole process has been rushed and key decisions are being pushed through without being given time for proper consideration. 

“I am particularly concerned that there is still no out of hospital care plan.

“You only have to look at the problems they are experiencing at the Jubilee Centre to see how long it is taking. 

“I am also very worried about the lack of GP engagement.”

Campaigners criticise BSBV for failing to identify how care would be provided in the community once an A&E department was axed.

The Jubilee Health Centre which opened in Wallington last year was intended to be part of the solution to that problem but it has suffered serious teething problems in its first few months.

BSBV will make its announcement on February 21 when the programme board makes their recommendation to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts on which option should go to consultation.

Sutton’s two MPs intend to visit St Helier Hospital to speak to staff after the announcement.

Tom Brake the MP for Carshalton and Wallington is urging people to attend a public meeting to challenge those behind the review.

The meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday, February 21, at the Carshalton Boys Sports College, Winchcombe Road.



Related articles

If you were on the Better Services Better Value Review how would you vote for the future of our hospitals?

Downgrading both Epsom and St Helier Hospitals "makes no sense" say clinicians involved in review

Maternity and A&E units are still at risk of closure

Leaked document reveals odds stacked against Epsom in BSBV recommendations

Recommendation to move orthopaedic centre from Epsom Hospital 'did not scupper merger talks'

MP demands BSBV team publish detailed evidence about finances



Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:38pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

I have used A&E on average three or four times per year since 2003 for the consequences of serious incurable conditions. I've been there a couple of times since this autumn and it seems to be it's much harder than it was to get a bed. I have felt pushed out after treatment through the night to go to my own bed although living alone whereas I was always given a few days on the ward before. I also get the feeling by the manner of some of the casualty doctors that they are trying to get answers from you that will enable them to throw you out rather than being in it with you when you are feeling dreadful. I don't blame them following their instructions but I'm not so sure about top NHS managment which is probably responsible. It's a tough call to argue your case with a doctor when you are feeling very ill though I think I am sharpening up my act lately forced by circumstances.
I have used A&E on average three or four times per year since 2003 for the consequences of serious incurable conditions. I've been there a couple of times since this autumn and it seems to be it's much harder than it was to get a bed. I have felt pushed out after treatment through the night to go to my own bed although living alone whereas I was always given a few days on the ward before. I also get the feeling by the manner of some of the casualty doctors that they are trying to get answers from you that will enable them to throw you out rather than being in it with you when you are feeling dreadful. I don't blame them following their instructions but I'm not so sure about top NHS managment which is probably responsible. It's a tough call to argue your case with a doctor when you are feeling very ill though I think I am sharpening up my act lately forced by circumstances. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Fri 15 Feb 13

GreenBrown says...

It's a shame Council leader Ruth Dombey, our MPs and our councillors didn't think about such things when they were busy letting endless flats be built increasing the population. They've allowed the population to rise by thousands over the last 20 years or so and not increased capacity at the hospitals. There will not be progress in this country while our 'leaders' are allowed to continue in their overpaid positions even after they've showed themselves to be utterly useless and sooooooo short sighted.
It's a shame Council leader Ruth Dombey, our MPs and our councillors didn't think about such things when they were busy letting endless flats be built increasing the population. They've allowed the population to rise by thousands over the last 20 years or so and not increased capacity at the hospitals. There will not be progress in this country while our 'leaders' are allowed to continue in their overpaid positions even after they've showed themselves to be utterly useless and sooooooo short sighted. GreenBrown
  • Score: 0

12:20am Sat 16 Feb 13

Brianfromsutton says...

Can somebody please explain WHY it actually takes 4 hours to be seen in A&E?

I'm lucky to have not had to use this for a while but in the past have taken other people to the hospital.

Just exactly what is the process from registering your arrival to actually getting seen? I appreciate there are prioritaisations of other more pressing emergencies arriving or is it a case of just making you wait to be seen to make the whole process unattractable?

I guess some people use A&E as an option if they can't get an appointment to see their GP for a few days, so maybe a 4 hour wait is supposed to deter them from doing this, though 4 hours is better than waiting a few days!

When I once needed to be seen on a Saturday following a badly swollen ankle from a suspected Horse-fly bite, someone told me about the walk in clinic at the Wilson's Hospital in Mitcham which is open every day so I went there and was seen within about 20 minutes.

So I again ask the question, what actually is the process and WHY does it take up to 4 hours to be seen at A&E?
Can somebody please explain WHY it actually takes 4 hours to be seen in A&E? I'm lucky to have not had to use this for a while but in the past have taken other people to the hospital. Just exactly what is the process from registering your arrival to actually getting seen? I appreciate there are prioritaisations of other more pressing emergencies arriving or is it a case of just making you wait to be seen to make the whole process unattractable? I guess some people use A&E as an option if they can't get an appointment to see their GP for a few days, so maybe a 4 hour wait is supposed to deter them from doing this, though 4 hours is better than waiting a few days! When I once needed to be seen on a Saturday following a badly swollen ankle from a suspected Horse-fly bite, someone told me about the walk in clinic at the Wilson's Hospital in Mitcham which is open every day so I went there and was seen within about 20 minutes. So I again ask the question, what actually is the process and WHY does it take up to 4 hours to be seen at A&E? Brianfromsutton
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

I was fortunate to be well enough today to join the Save our Hospitals protest march from Norbiton Stn to Kingston Guildhall. Nicely organised and marchers ?150 in good voice and message would have got through to the shoppers and people in the traffic jam many tooting approval and support. Be on guard now for the clandestine introduction of USA-EU harmonisation agreement starting with health care that would see privatisation changes made to our NHS that would also be irreversible under EU law and fight that.
I was fortunate to be well enough today to join the Save our Hospitals protest march from Norbiton Stn to Kingston Guildhall. Nicely organised and marchers ?150 in good voice and message would have got through to the shoppers and people in the traffic jam many tooting approval and support. Be on guard now for the clandestine introduction of USA-EU harmonisation agreement starting with health care that would see privatisation changes made to our NHS that would also be irreversible under EU law and fight that. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

3:15am Wed 20 Feb 13

gbzgc says...

I just hope and pray that the Govt sort this mess out soon so that I no longer have to experience the self righteous, smug and hypocritical moaning of councillors Dombey and Burstow. It was their own Liberal MP and in fact Mary Burstow's own husband who was a health Minister when this was all implemented and agreed but week after week they bleat about it as if they had no say or link to the disaster that is unfolding. Please sort it out someone I cannot take it anymore
I just hope and pray that the Govt sort this mess out soon so that I no longer have to experience the self righteous, smug and hypocritical moaning of councillors Dombey and Burstow. It was their own Liberal MP and in fact Mary Burstow's own husband who was a health Minister when this was all implemented and agreed but week after week they bleat about it as if they had no say or link to the disaster that is unfolding. Please sort it out someone I cannot take it anymore gbzgc
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree