HEREFORDSHIRE'S NHS trust has spoken out after NHS England figures revealed it had the second-worst figures for A&E waiting times in the country in January.

Data from NHS England revealed that Wye Valley NHS Trust, which is responsible for A&E in Hereford, had the second highest percentage of people waiting more than four hours to be seen in the first month of this year.

The operational standard for A&E waiting times is that 95 per cent of patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of their arrival at an A&E department.

READ MORE: Hereford's A&E waiting times second-worst in the country in January

But, the trust has countered, the reality of the situation is not as simple as the figures suggest.

A spokesperson for Wye Valley NHS Trust said they have robust multi-agency winter plans in place, both within the trust and across the local health system and partners, to enable the trust to maintain services and continue to provide safe care for patients.

Herefordshire's hospitals continue to experience significant demand in the numbers of patients requiring urgent and emergency care, and admission to hospital, and staff are working incredibly hard to ensure patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible, the spokesperson said.


"It’s important to note that the trust does not run any minor injury units, urgent treatment centres, or walk in centres," the spokesperson said.

MIUs, UTCs, and WICs performance is taken into account for the overall four hour performance and trusts which have these facilities within their health systems generally get a four-hour performance gain of around 10 to 12 per cent.

"If you take this into account and look at the trust’s performance with its most seriously and critically ill emergency department patients, the Trust is placed at 82 out of 110 major emergency departments for December."

The spokesperson said that in January 2023, the trust recorded 56.3 per cent performance for the four hour ED wait, based on Type 1 activity (excluding MIUs, UTCs and WICs), compared to the national average of 50.8 per cent for Type 1 activity.

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"We have put a number of measures in place including expanding the emergency department, reviewing how we manage patient flow across our trust to support the quicker throughput of patients, including an emergency pitstop service plus additional staffing, which is helping to shorten the time between patients being seen and the commencement of treatment," the spokesperson said.

"We continue to work with partner organisations to enable patients fit for discharge to return home in a timely manner, including extra community discharge beds, and additional support for our emergency department to refer patients, as appropriate, to the out of hours primary care service."

Wye Valley NHS Trust said it continues to ask that people consider NHS alternatives including their GP, pharmacist and NHS 111, if it is not a medical emergency.