The Trust has identified improving care for the emergency
patient as its top priority.
Steps are now being taken to start doing this ahead of the winter -
with a particular focus on University Hospital of North Durham.
Diane Murphy, clinical director of service transformation says,
"The Trust's accident and emergency services see and treat over
120,000 patients each
year, which is way beyond the capacity the departments were built
"This means that there are times when patients have long waits
for treatment, and are waiting longer than necessary in ambulances
to come into the departments. This means they have a
poor experience of care."
This is a particular issue at Durham, but, as a single Trust,
also has a significant impact on Darlington Memorial Hospital.
Around 800 patients a year are transferred from UHND to
UHND receives more patients by emergency ambulance than any
other hospital in the North East.
During the summer, discussions among clinical teams have
intensified around changes that need to be made to provide better
care for the emergency patient.
Diane says, "Although the challenge is mostly around medical
patients, this also affects how we manage surgical patients."
This September, a series of actions is being rolled out to improve
the service we offer, which include:
Diane Murphy added, "We believe these changes will significantly
improve our service. But it isn't just about the facilities, it's
also about having the right staff in place, and the right ways of
workings to make sure that patients get the right care at the right
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital