Health regulator Monitor has put its own ‘troubleshooter’ into Peterborough City Hospital to power the fight to cut emergency patients’ waiting times.
The regulator has parachuted in high-flying health veteran Sue Lewis because of the ongoing failure by the £289-million hospital in Bretton to meet accident and emergency target times.
The trust is expected by the Department of Health to ensure that 95 per cent of patients at the emergency department are seen within four hours.
But health regulator Monitor says the trust has consistently failed to meet the target.
Now it says it is taking further action to improve A&E services for patients.
Monitor has appointed Sue Lewis, a nurse and former chief operating officer with over 34 years of NHS experience, as oversight director at the trust.
She will be based at the trust in a part-time capacity and will work with the trust’s leadership, providing expertise and support while also holding it to account to ensure improvements are being made.
A&E performance at the trust has been a concern for some time, with Monitor first taking regulatory action as a result of this in April 2013.
According to figures that have been discussed by trust directors, performance on the A&E four hour target declined from 84.6 per cent in September this year to 79.6 per cent in October this year.
David Dean, senior enforcement director at Monitor, said: “This extra support will help ensure the trust makes necessary improvements so that patients can receive quality care in a timely manner.
“We want the trust to demonstrate that it understands and can overcome the issues it faces.
“Monitor will continue to look closely at the trust’s progress and will take further action if necessary.”
Neil Doverty, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “Our oversight director has been in the trust on a number of occasions in the last few weeks. She is here to help us by monitoring our 10-point recovery plan, provide feedback to us and update Monitor on our progress.
“We are already working hard to implement a number of new initiatives that are designed to help improve our performance in treating emergency patients within the four-hour standard.”