Healthwatch Portsmouth informed the Board meeting in public in December of the outcome of the Urgent and Emergency Care Standards pilot that we contributed community based research to (along with 5 other local Healthwatch) in late 2019.

This was in follow-up to an NHS England ‘Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards for urgent and emergency care’ that took place earlier in 2019. NHS England considered the patient feedback we gathered then produced draft proposals that would be nationally applied to Hospital Trusts providing Accident and Emergency Care. NHS England launched on 16th December a national consultation on the proposed standards which now closes at the end of February so there is still time to have your say.

NHS England are recommending replacing the current 4 hour wait target for accessing A&E with measures which include:

  • Less than 15 minute target to initial assessment for all patients – which must be a meaningful clinical assessment
  • Less than 1 hour target for treating the most sick patients – i.e. heart attacks, strokes, sepsis etc
  • Separating out the average waiting times for admitted and non-admitted patients so people have a better idea of how long they may have to individually wait.
  • A guarantee that waits of 12 hours or more won’t be tolerated (these have been rising steadily in recent years).

These proposed national targets match up with the things that people said mattered to them, a direct result of community based feedback gathering in Portsmouth and the 5 other local Healthwatch. Please do have your say and contribute to the national discussion on these important changes.

There is still time to have your say on these proposals by taking part in the national consultation which closes on 12th February.