Keeping care flowing this winter

We have achieved significant improvements since introducing a Trust-wide approach to ensure patients are able to move through their care journey with us as quickly and safely as possible.

Ambulance handovers, when comparing October 2019 to October 2018, have improved by more than three per cent to over 90 per cent of patients assessed within 30 minutes at both Charing Cross and St Mary’s hospitals. The number of ambulance arrivals was 10 per cent higher in October 2019 compared to October 2018. Delays to ambulance assessments pose an increased risk to patients on site due to delays in diagnosis and treatment and also an increased risk in the community because fewer ambulances are available to respond. Throughout winter we aim to maintain this performance level.

Since April 2019 we’ve reduced the number of patients in hospital over 21 days by 13.5 per cent. Nationally, all NHS trusts have been set an ambition to reduce long stay patients by 40 per cent by March 2020. Long stays in hospital are linked to a reduction in overall fitness and independence, especially for older people, and an increased risk of infection and falls.

We have not been publicly reporting our performance against the A&E four-hour access standard since May this year, when we became one of the 14 pilot sites testing new standards for urgent and emergency care for NHS England. The pilot – involving all our emergency departments, including Western Eye, and our three urgent care centres – has been extended until March 2020. As of the beginning of December 2019, we are focusing entirely on the new standards to help us monitor performance and drive improvements.

We’ve produced a comprehensive range of resources for staff, patients and local healthcare providers to help us all work together this winter. If you have any questions about these materials, please contact