1,100 patients waited more than 12 hours for a hospital bed across trust

Up to 1,100 patients waited for more than 12 hours to get a hospital bed across York and Scarborough in January.

A report from York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s resources committee highlighted concerns presented to its board of directors on February 28.

One concern was that 12-hour plus trolley waits remained “very high” and were reported as being at 1,100 for the first month of 2024.

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Trolley waits are the time between a patient being told by a doctor they need to be admitted to hospital for further treatment and when the patient is actually admitted.

York hospitalYork hospital
York hospital

In October 2023, there were 883 12-hour plus waits for a hospital bed.

To compare with similar dates from a year before, 12-hour trolley waits were reduced from 1,234 in December 2022 to 808 in January 2023.

“It’s a really concerning metric,” said the trust’s chair, Martin Barkley.

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“And when we consider our business plan over the next year I think this needs to be one of the absolute high priorities.”

When asked “why can't we crack that nut” as a hospital trust regarding 12-hour waits, Mr Barkley said: “There are no beds to move people into.

“It’s the only thing.

“It’s nothing else.”

Across England, nearly 35,000 patients a month waited for 12 hours or more for a hospital bed in 2023, according to Channel 4 News’ FactCheck analysis of NHS England data, more than 3,000 times higher than in 2011.

The chief executive of York and Scarborough hospitals Simon Morritt noted that there are also tens of thousands of people waiting more than a year for care.

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He said that while six people have been waiting 78 weeks for care in York and Scarborough, “there are still thousands of patients nationally waiting 78 weeks, there are still hundreds waiting 104 weeks and tens of thousands waiting 65 weeks.”

He added: “It’s not acceptable that people are having to wait as long as they are having to wait for care - that is absolutely true - but we’ve moved heaven and earth to get to where we are.”

Other concerns that were noted in the report were the trust's “challenging financial position” and its expected deficit.

It noted that discussions are ongoing with the ICB on a system funding solution and there will be a need to take action to reduce spending in the final few weeks of the financial year.

The report also notes an increase in spending on drugs continues to be an issue of concern, as well as £6.2m of spending going on agency staff.

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