North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust ranked number one out of 131 Trusts in March for its ability to see patients within four hours of arriving at its Accident and Emergency care department. The Trust is consistently a high performer and in March it achieved 97.8% against the target of 95%.
The Trust owes its success to the well-established integrated Urgent and Emergency Care service which it implemented in April 2017. The service is run by the Trust, in alliance with the North East Ambulance Service and Hartlepool and Stockton Health GP Federation.
The service operates two Urgent Care centres in Hartlepool and at the University Hospital of North Tees, which provide walk in provision, directly bookable appointments through 111 and the out of hours home visiting provision. The North Tees site is directly connected to the Emergency Care Unit where patients requiring emergency care are triaged at the front of house and streamed into the relevant area of care.
The four hour standard is a national target implemented by the government to ensure that all patients are treated, admitted or transferred within four hours of arriving at A&E. The aim is to ensure that every single patient requiring emergency care receives it as quickly as possible.
The Trust is one of 14 nationally who are taking part in the pilot of a new A&E standard from the 1 May. The proposed standard focuses on treatment of the sickest patients within the first hour of attending A&E. It’s a more complete measure of the total time spent within the Emergency Care department, rather than measuring time to treatment.
Chief Executive Julie Gillon commented “We are extremely proud of the high quality care we provide as part of our integrated urgent and emergency care service. The innovative alliance model we have with the regional ambulance service and the local GP federation has proved to be a huge success.
“Over the last year we have consistently been one of the top performing health Trusts in the country for emergency care. This is in no small part down to the success of our integrated service. Patients are being cared for in the right place at the right time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“There is so much truly fantastic work going on across our trust as well as across the whole NHS – we are proud to be piloting the new standard which we hope will allow for even further improvement at a local and national level.”