SALISBURY District Hospital missed its accident and emergency (A&E) waiting time targets in all but one month last year, latest figures have shown.

The waiting time target is for 95 per cent of patients in A&E to be seen within four hours, from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.

Salisbury’s A&E department only managed to hit this figure in August last year – the lowest figures recorded were 84.9 per cent in January, and 86.4 per cent in November.

The most recent figures, released last Thursday, show that the total number of A&E attendances seen to in under four hours in December was 5,356, or 86.9 per cent of the total admissions.

This was down from 5,337 and 93.3 per cent in the same period in 2018.

For emergency admissions, the number of patients spending four hours or longer from decision to admission was 174 in December last year, out of 2,248 admissions. This was more than in December 2018 – 59 out of 1,915.

Extra pressure bought on by the winter months saw the number of patients spending four hours or longer in A&E reaching a high of 246, which was in November.

This figure dropped to 174 in December, out of 2,248 emergency admissions.

Nationally, December was the worst month for A&E departments since the four-hour target was first introduced, in 2004.

Just 79.8 per cent of patients spent less than four hours in A&E – more than 15 per cent below the 95 per cent target.

The total number of attendances to A&E in Salisbury has also risen by 400 people in the last year.

The hospital’s total attendances for A&E in December 2019 was 6,164, compared to 5,721 in December 2018.

In September last year, the hospital announced that it had, for the first time since 2018, achieved a four-hour standard for dealing with patients in accident and emergency.

Andy Hyett, chief operating officer at Salisbury District Hospital said: “Our staff work hard to meet the national target of 95 per cent of attendees being seen at A&E within 4 hours.

"Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of our staff and the support we receive from our local community, we are pleased to be one of the best performing Trust’s in the country.

"However, where we have missed the 95 per cent national standard, we apologise to anyone that has had to wait while we prioritise the most critical cases and encourage everyone to consider the best place to receive care and advice and only visit A&E when it is a genuine emergency.”

For more information, visit: