Health Minister Rosie Winterton has announced that Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust is to receive £100,000 extra capital to develop services across the Trust. The money had been awarded because the Trust has consistently seen 95 per cent of patients in and out of A&E within four hours or less.

This is the second stage of a financial incentive scheme where every hospital trust in England delivering faster care for patients in A&E is able to access up to £500,000 in stages between March 2004 and March 2005.

Rosie Winterton said: "I would like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers at Ashford and St. Peter’s for seeing and treating more people in A&E within four hours. I'm delighted to reward this hard work and improved performance with £100,000 capital to further improve services and facilities.

"This is just one example of how the NHS is getting better here, thanks to government investment and staff working hard and working in new ways. Faster, more convenient access to patient-centred emergency care cannot be delivered and sustained without co-operation across the whole system of Emergency care."

Welcoming the announcement Nick Hulme, Director of Operations at Ashford and St. Peter’s commented: “This is tremendous news for the Trust and follows on from our improved two star rating and the news that our MRSA rate has fallen. Our staff and volunteers work hard for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of patients each year and the whole community. This is sometimes missed when the media reports of incidents are not put into perspective so this news is very welcome.”

Ashford and St. Peter’s has improved services for patients attending A&E by:

  • Separating minor injury patients from trauma patients so that minor injuries are handled by Emergency Nurse Practioners (ENPs) and life threatening trauma by senior doctors;
  • improving the profiling of activity across the Trust so that the number of patients coming into the hospital and beds available are matched more closely;
  • creating an Operations Centre which has become the focus of activity and bed management;

Together these measures have enabled the hospital to achieve and maintain 96% of patients in and out of A&E within four hours.

The Trust has not decided what to spend the £100,000 on; discussions about this will take place in due course.


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