“No evidence” of waiting times being manipulated at Ninewells hospital


Model of care Ninewells hospital found to be “safe and appropriate”

THE CHIEF medical officer has found no evidence waiting times are being rigged at Ninewells hospital.

Chief Medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood visited the Dundee hospital after a whistle-blower said A&E waiting times were being manipulated to meet targets and surgeons were no longer allowed to visit patients in A&E. (Click here to read more).

After her visit earlier this week Dr Calderwood said: “There is no evidence to support the allegation that patients are admitted to specialty wards, or specialty doctors are unable to see patients within the emergency department, purely to achieve targets.

“NHS Tayside has also confirmed that surgeons and physicians regularly attend the A&E department to assess patients.”

She found the level of care provided at Ninewells to be appropriate and safe after meeting with staff from both A&E and surgery departments.

She praised the hospital for the improvements it had made which include a reduction to below the national average in hospital deaths.

She suggested that communication between emergency staff and other departments was not as good as it should be and this leads to misunderstandings.

Dr Calderwood said: “Staff from different departments should meet regularly and these meetings should also be attended by nursing and other staff working between the emergency department and the receiving units.

“Emergency department consultants should also have a participative role in the induction of new medical, nursing and other relevant healthcare staff to ensure understanding of the agreed operational procedures within A&E.”

The chief medical officer will revisit the hospital in six months to make sure her recommendations are being taken forward.

Picture coutesy of Scott Kless