In recent years, we have significantly reduced cases of MRSA and Clostridium Difficile in our hospitals. Challenging targets were set for 2013/14. We have not achieved these for 2013/14. We had eight cases of MRSA in 2013/14, compared to three cases in 2012/13. We had 51 cases C.diff in 2013/14. This is four fewer cases than in 2012/13, but is above the target of 35 cases.
We are disappointed not to achieve these targets and recognise the impact that infections have on our patients. We are working closely with all of our staff to reduce infections as we recognise that this is a very important area that we need to improve on. All of our staff will be pledging ‘zero tolerance’ towards infections in 2014.
Treating emergency patients
Our Emergency Department is extremely busy, caring and treating patients with serious, life threatening illness, major trauma and a range of other injuries. We are part of a major trauma network for Merseyside and Cheshire. We did not meet our four hour emergency department target in 2013/14, with 94% of patients being admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours. We understand the impact that waiting has on our patients. We have had periods of significant pressure throughout the year, with some very high numbers of attenders on some days. We also saw an increase in sicker patients who required more care and treatment and experienced challenges when discharging patients who no longer needed our care, but who need support outside of hospital. We implemented a range of measures to manage the additional pressure that we experience during the winter months. These included resident 24/7 consultant cover in the emergency department and rapid assessment and treatment of all patients arriving by ambulance – all being seen by a senior doctor.
Treating patients quickly
We continue to diagnose and treat over 90 per cent of our patients within 18 weeks of their referral to us by a GP. We are also meeting a range of targets relating to cancer – this means that the vast majority of patients are being seen within two weeks of a referral of suspected cancer by their GP and beginning treatment within 62 days of their diagnosis.
Reducing postponed operations
We are meeting the national targets for keeping the number of postponed operations for non-clinical reasons to a minimum. If we do have to postpone an operation, then patients who have been postponed will have their operation within 28 days.
Reducing the time patients spend in hospital
We know that our patients and their families do not want to be in hospital any longer than they need to. We are continuously working to improve this and reduce the time patients spend in our hospitals – one of the key ways we are doing this is to increase the amount of surgery we do in a day – meaning patients don’t to have to stay overnight.