Wye Valley NHS Trust has issued a statement to the local media following a BBC report that waiting times at Hereford County Hospital are among the worst in the country.

In a statement provided to Your Herefordshire, a spokesperson for Wye Valley NHS Trust said:

“We have robust multi-agency winter plans in place, both within the Trust and across our local health system and partners, to enable us to maintain services and continue to provide safe care for our patients. We continue to experience significant demand in the numbers of patients requiring urgent and emergency care, and admission to hospital, and our staff are working incredibly hard to ensure patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible.

“It’s important to note that the Trust does not run any Minor Injury Units (MIUs), Urgent Treatment Centres [UTCs] or Walk In Centres [WICs]. 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 (ED) patients, the Trust is placed at 82 out of 110 major Emergency Departments (ED) for December.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“We continue to ask that people consider NHS alternatives including their GP, pharmacist and NHS 111, if it is not a medical emergency.”