According to data from the BBC, the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust has been ranked 114 out of 131 trusts in England for patient waiting times. 80.1% of patients at the University Trust were admitted and treated within four hours of arrival at a hospital

Final Year English Literature Student ~ News Editor ~
Published
Images by Elliott Brown

The NHS is under constant pressure from their patients and the government, and controversy is widespread on what the NHS is doing to improve their services.

In a recent study, the BBC collated data from April to September 2018, which allows people to check whether their local services are reaching England’s targets.

The BBC’s publication is based on data that is published monthly or quarterly, dependent on the area in the UK. Each local service measures their targets differently, and the BBC have based their figures on ‘individual hospital trust level’.

The data published measures the NHS’ performance on four measures: A&E treatment, cancer care, planned operations and care

The data published measures the NHS’ performance on four measures: A&E treatment, cancer care, planned operations and care, such as knee and hip replacements and access to psychological treatment such as counselling.

In relation to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, figures show that targets were missed in three of these areas.

In relation to patients being treated and admitted within four hours of arrival at A&E, figures are below England’s average of 88.9%, at a figure of 80.1%. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS trust was therefore ranked 114 out of 131 trusts. The target was 95% for England, and just 18 trusts across the UK met their own targets. This suggests the trust are not alone in meeting tough demands they face.

Redbrick spoke to a final year English Literature and Creative Writing student, who said,

‘It’s not like Birmingham is an anomaly, as it’s a problem across the whole country. It should be government responsibility, not specifically the Birmingham trust.’

The Birmingham trust similarly did not meet their target in relation to cancer patients receiving treatment within 62 days of urgent referral. The national target was 85% but was missed with a figure of 79.5%. England’s average, however, is 79.4%, which again demonstrates a collective difficulty to meet targets that are being demanded of them.

England’s average, however, is 79.4%, which again demonstrates a collective difficulty to meet targets that are being demanded of them

The last time England achieved their target for cancer patients receiving rapid treatment was in July 2015. The trust’s average here ranks them 77 out of 131, showing an improvement in comparison to A&E waiting times.

The third area which the BBC data examines is patients receiving planned operations and care within 18 weeks of referral, also known as non-emergency treatment.

Figures show that University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust was ranked 60 out of 126 trusts, with a figure of 88.6%. England’s average was 87.2%, missing its target of 92%. Homerton University, based in East London, was ranked 1st out of 126 trusts, with an average of 96.7%.

The last area which the BBC examined was patients starting mental health therapy within six weeks of referral. Out of all four areas, this is the only section where University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust has met, and exceeded, England’s target. At a figure of 95%, the trust went above and beyond 75%.

Redbrick contacted the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust about their targets, who said, ‘Waiting time targets are one of a number of measures we consider during our inspections, but we understand that during peak demand delays can happen and patients may need to be in A&E in excess of four hours.

We will always look at how trusts manage risks to safety, experience and dignity for those patients whose transfers out of the department cannot take place sooner. We also look closely at the initial triaging and screening of patients on arrival into the emergency department as it is absolutely right for the sickest patients to be seen first.’

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