Kettering Hospital faces £167k A&E target failure fine

Kettering General Hospital
Image caption In the most recent quarter, 90% of patients in A&E were dealt with in four hours

A hospital in Northamptonshire could be fined more than £160,000 for breaching A&E targets.

Kettering Hospital is currently reviewing the "flow" of patients across the trust.

Between October and December 2012, 90% of A&E patients were dealt with in four hours. The target is 95%.

The hospital said its A&E team were seeing and treating people quickly but encountered issues in finding space for patients elsewhere in the hospital.

The problems could end up costing its £10m-a-year A&E department up to £167,000, depending on its performance up until the end of March.

'Waiting area'

Hospital chief executive Lorene Read said: "Our A&E department works very hard to maintain a good quality of patient care at a time when the whole health system is under pressure with significant demand on A&E, on hospital beds and on the timeliness of discharge back into the community.

"These pressures can mean A&E can become a 'waiting area' for longer than four hours for the 5% or more of patients who are waiting for a hospital bed, or have been kept in the department for observation.

"We are working very hard to reduce these 'four hour' breaches.

"Our current average wait for initial assessment is two minutes and our average wait to treatment is 47 minutes."

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