Norfolk's A&E units struggle to meet emergency waiting times

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Aerial view of North Norfolk University Hospital, NorwichImage source, James Horne/BlueSkyUAV
Image caption,
The emergency unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University hospital has been struggling to meet waiting times

Waiting times at all three emergency units in Norfolk are worse than the national average, data shows.

The NHS nationally aims to ensure that 95% of A&E patients are seen within four hours.

Just 69.3% of patients at Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) were seen within four hours and 67.9% at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn, the figure was 60.9%.

The average in England last month was just 74%, up from 73.9% in October, which was the worst since records began, according to figures sourced by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image caption,
Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital has not been able to meet national average waiting times

It comes at a time when growing demand, limited capacity, staff shortages and Covid safety measures have all taken their toll on emergency departments.

However, emergency attendances at the region's hospitals are starting to fall - though they remain relatively high.

Some 31,112 people made unplanned attendances to the three hospitals in November - down from a record high in July of 34,048, and the lowest since April.

And 3,145 patients endured waits of more than four hours on a trolley in November across all three hospitals - the second-highest on record.

Waits of more than 12 hours at the NNUH and JPUH were both the second highest on record too, with 145 and 143 patients respectively waiting more than half a day for a bed in November.

At the QEH, a new record for 12-hour trolley waits was set at 78, beating September's previous record of 58.

A spokesperson for the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney said: "Emergency and urgent care services continue to remain extremely busy.

"Patients can help by contacting NHS 111 first if they need medical advice and seeking help from their community pharmacist or walk-in centre for minor injuries and ailments."

Image source, Adrian S Pye/Geograph
Image caption,
The number of 12-hour trolley waits at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has risen

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