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Top teaching trust blames surge in long A&E waits on covid measures

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A top teaching hospital has blamed covid measures for a dramatic rise in the number of trolley waits in its accident and emergency department.

In October, 111 patients at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital, waited more than 12 hours for admission, despite the region’s relatively low covid rates. 

CUH recorded just nine 12-hour waits in September and 27 in August. It had no 12-hour waits in either June or July this year, and in October 2019, it had only one. 

The trust also had 761 patients who waited more than four hours from the decision to admit to admission last month, out of a total of 2,998 emergency admissions. 

CUH director of operations Holly Sutherland said: “We have had to reorganise the hospital to meet infection control requirements and to reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission. With limited side room availability due to the age of our facilities, this has reduced the number of beds in the hospital by around 100 and has impacted on patient flow from the emergency department."

“We would like to apologise to anyone affected by this, and to reassure our patients that their safety is our utmost priority and we are doing everything we can to treat them as quickly as possible.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 18 November 2020

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