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by Tom Freeman
13 October 2015
'Super hospital' struggles with demand

'Super hospital' struggles with demand

A&E performance at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in South Glasgow is significantly below departments across the rest of Scotland, the latest weekly waiting times figures have revealed.

The hospital has issued an apology after only 77.2 per cent of patients admitted to accident and emergency were seen within four hours, compared to 94 per cent across Scotland as a whole.

Twenty-nine patients waited over eight hours, over a quarter of the Scottish total. It is the worst performance since the hospital opened in May.

The transfer of services from three hospitals to the new £842m centre was been described as the largest ever hospital migration in the UK, but in June the Scottish Government sent in a team of troubleshooters after reports of ‘chaos’ at A&E.

Hospital director Anne Harkness apologised to those who had been left waiting.

“Our analysis for this most recent performance has shown that the new model of care within our Immediate Assessment Unit (IAU) has been seeing significantly more patients than was projected. Elsewhere patients are also spending longer in hospital than we had anticipated.

“We are fully committed to tackling these issues and are putting in place a number of immediate steps to improve the situation,” she said.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said it was clear improvement was needed.

“While the new hospital campus has greater capacity than the three it replaced, it is right that the health board has recognised that demand at the QEUH has been higher than their planned operating model. It is crucial that NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde make early adjustments to this service and Scottish Government officials will be keeping in close contact with the health board as they roll out the measures announced today.”

The Scotland-wide figure of 94 per cent being seen within four hours marks a fall of one per cent on last week’s performance, putting it below the Scottish Government’s 95 per cent target. 

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