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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Targets for the timely handover of emergency patients are being missed, latest figures reveal.

Senior nurses assigned to improve handover times

Targets for the timely handover of emergency patients from ambulances to A&E are being missed at the city’s hospitals, latest figures reveal.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals said its A&E handover times had increased after changes to the way the data is recorded.

NHS guidelines say all patients should be transferred into A&E within 15 minutes of arriving at hospital.

Latest figures for February show the average handover time at St James’s University Hospital was 22.36 minutes.

There were 1,976 handovers of more than 15 minutes at the hospital, some 70.7 per cent of total ambulance arrivals.

At Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), 46.3 per cent of handovers breached the target. Some 1,191 of the transfers took longer than 15 minutes and the average waiting time was 17.10 minutes.

The targets are designed to ensure paramedics can get back on the road as quickly as possible to deal with other emergencies.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals said a senior nurse had been deployed to each A&E to help improve handover times.

Clare Smith, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “Prompt ambulance handovers is really important for good patient care and to ensure ambulance availability for other people who need them.

“We work hard to ensure handovers happen in a timely manner, and this is reflected in our large, busy departments ranking very well and one of the highest nationally against this measure. ”

The trust said a change in the starting point for recording handover times had added five to eight minutes to each transfer.

Previously, the clock started when an ambulance crew notified the A&E team of their arrival.

Since last October, handover times are recorded from the ambulance entering the patient off-loading bay and a button being pressed on a mobile terminal.

Ms Smith added: “To help us meet the new guidance we have assigned a nurse in each emergency department to act as a champion.

“This has given us the opportunity to understand what is working well and what further improvements we can make to our processes.

“We are working with Yorkshire Ambulance Service to renew our focus on improving the patient journey.”

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