Hospital trust’s cash reward for A&E performance

Staff at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust celebrate its 10-year anniversary
Staff at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust celebrate its 10-year anniversary

Millions of pounds to spend on new equipment for patients has been secured thanks to the performance of the trust that runs Worthing Hospital’s A&E department.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust had the ninth best Type 1 A&E performance in England in 2018/19.

The trust, which also runs Southlands Hospital in Shoreham and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, finished the year in March with 95 per cent of patients in A&E at Worthing or St Richard’s seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours.

The organisation, rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, also delivered a £1.194 million surplus, which combined with its A&E performance, earned the trust a further £27million of capital investment.

Chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dame Marianne Griffiths, said: “Yet again, our dedicated staff have bucked the trend and improved our performance, while the national average has unfortunately deteriorated.

“Even more impressive is how they have achieved this during another record-breaking year for us, with 145,000 people coming to our A&Es for help – that’s around 480 more every month, compared to just a year before.

“Although called the A&E target, it is important people appreciate how this reflects the performance of the entire hospital, from front door to discharge and everyone involved in between, because we can only admit patients if we maintain good patient flow through the system.”

In 2018/19, 134,000 patients were admitted to hospital wards through the trust’s emergency departments in Chichester and Worthing – an increase of six per cent on the previous year.

Despite this higher demand, the number of patients waiting more than four hours reduced by 20 per cent, with 2,300 fewer people experiencing such a delay in 2018/19, compared to 2017/18.

Dame Marianne added: “Providing a good service for patients also helped us to secure an extra £17million to spend on new equipment and improving our hospitals this year. This is because NHS regulators reward high-performing trusts which also manage their finances – and our staff do an amazing job, striving to maximise patient value for every pound we spend.”

See www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk for more information.