Morecambe Bay patients waiting longer at A&E than many other parts of country, figures reveal

The Accident & Emergency Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
The Accident & Emergency Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

New figures reveal Morecambe Bay patients are waiting longer to be treated in A&E than many other parts of the country and that a series of key performance targets have been missed.

Data released by NHS Digital shows that almost one in five patients (19 per cent) attending A&E at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital is waiting more than four hours for treatment.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust also failed to ensure planned operations took place within the recommended 18 weeks – 21 per cent of patients waited longer.

The NHS figures also show that cancer patients waited beyond the 62 day guideline for treatment. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) waited longer than six weeks.

Responding to data showing A&E waiting times nationwide are the worst ever, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Patients left in agony on trolleys and poorly visitors to A&E forced to sit on floors for hours because of a lack of chairs has become the new normal. This is the legacy of nine years of Tory rule.

“Services are on their knees. Years of underfunding and an endless staffing crisis show the Conservatives are simply not fit to run our NHS.

“These are the worst ever A&E figures yet the winter has barely begun. It’s a shocking state of affairs and should be of huge concern to every one of us.

“The pressure on hospitals is going through the roof because of the failure to tackle the social care mess.

“The next government must put the health of the nation and the NHS as its top priorities.”

Foluke Ajayi, chief operating officer, UHMBT, said: “Like the rest of the NHS we see pressure within the Emergency Departments of our hospitals, our outpatient departments and our operating theatres, as well as across our community teams.

“Our staff work tirelessly and will continue to strive to provide the best care possible across Morecambe Bay for our patients.”