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Trust admits doctoring waiting time figures to hit target

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Nottingham University Hospitals trust has apologised following its admission it doctored figures to give the impression it had met Government waiting time targets.

Out of a total of 75,000 patients who attended the Queen’s Medical Centre’s A&E department in Nottingham between April and September, the trust’s figures claimed just 1,105 people waited longer than four hours.

This fell within the Government’s target for 98% of patients to “receive attention within four hours” by 0.3%.

But the trust confessed these statistics were inaccurate, and another 628 patients were not seen within four hours.

This meant the trust’s actual percentage of patients who received treatment, were admitted or discharged within the Government’s target time, dropped to 97.3%.

Dr Peter Homa, chief executive of the trust, said a review of reporting procedures was now taking place by an independent team of auditors.

He said: “We are determined to clearly establish why this has happened. Our priority and duty is to ensure that any future performance information reporting from the trust is both accurate and honest.

“I would like to express my sincere regret and apologise for what has occurred.

“While we are confident that patient care has not been compromised, patients should not wait longer than absolutely necessary.

“Falling short of this ambition to accurately report our progress is not good enough for those we serve.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Well done NUHT for having the courage to openly admit what we all know goes on in many other trusts.

    I used to work in a 'fabricating' trust wher to meet trolley to bed targets, the patient would be admitted to a ward that didnt exist! They were simply transferred from a trolley to a bed, and the bed placed in the corridor until a bed space on a ward was available

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  • The public and the Department of Health would be very surprised if they knew the full extent of the 'manipulating' of statistics that goeson to meet their targets. I know of several A&E departments that find 'clever' ways to fudge admission times to beds to stop the breach clock. Trusts are heavily fined, and this practice is encouraged from a very senior level in the Trust and the department.

    These are no doubt common practices up and down the country, and need to be investigated widely to identify where it happens, and to put a stop to it. It's effectively fraud, and is not in the best interests of patients or frontline staff.

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