Improving A&E Performance

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust committed to improving A&E performance 

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) is committed to improving A&E performance at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals after the regulator announced the Trust was in breach of its licence for not meeting the four-hour standard[1]. 

The Trust, which is failing to see, treat and admit or discharge 95% of patients at A&E within four hours (the standard was last achieved in June 2015), fully acknowledges that more needs to be done to ensure that patients in A&E are seen in a more timely way. 

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of GHNHSFT, said that patient care was fundamental to the Trust and that good improvements had already been made. She also wants the public to play their part by accessing health services more appropriately and leaving A&E for life threatening and/or serious conditions. To find out what health services are available locally visit 

“The provision of high quality care is absolutely paramount and while we are disappointed at the position we find ourselves in today we are committed to getting this right for our patients,” she said.  

“We do provide safe high quality care for the vast majority of patients and the public should be reassured about that. We fully accept the need to improve performance in A&E and the role that we have to play in achieving this. We care deeply about this and we are committed to getting this right. 

“We are pleased that as part of the investigatory work undertaken by NHS I to date the regulator have recognised a number of areas where improvements have already been made. Broadly these cover working practices, strengthened organisational capacity and reporting mechanisms. These efforts have contributed to a much improved picture against the A&E standard. For example in May and June we achieved 87% against the standard, which is a 10% improvement compared to April. Over the coming months we will continue to further strengthen these arrangements.” 

“We are also encouraged by the recognition locally among our health and social care partners that in order to fully tackle this complex issue we need to work closely as a health and care community. On that front much work is being developed and I look forward to continuing this with you as we explore new ways of working in a more joined up way. 

Deborah added: “It is also important to recognise the really exceptional job that staff continue to do day in and day out in extremely challenging circumstances – particularly given that more and more people are attending A&E[2]. 

“At both our hospitals in Cheltenham and Gloucester whether it is on the wards or in A&E, they have been incredible. Every day they turn up to do the very best that they can for their patients – their commitment and professionalism is so commendable and impressive.” 

It is widely acknowledged that up to 20%[3] of patients attending A&E would be better served by clinicians other than emergency medicine doctors. A&E is for life threatening or serious conditions. There are a wide range of alternative health services available where you are often treated in a timelier and more appropriate manner. To see what options are available visit


[1] Note to editor:  A minimum of 95 per cent of patients attending an A&E department in England must be seen, treated and then admitted or discharged in under four hours. This is commonly known as the four-hour standard.

[2] Note to editor: Studies by The Royal College of Emergency Medicine have shown that more than 20% of patients attending A&E departments would be better served by clinicians other than emergency medicine doctors.

[3] Note to editor: A&E departments in England had the busiest year in their history with more patients than ever seeking help, official figures from NHS England shows. Nearly 23m people visited A&E in the 12 months to March 2016 - a rise of more than 500,000 from the previous year.