PERFORMANCE: Airedale Foundation Trust could be found in significant breach of its authorisation after it failed to meet the 95 per cent performance target for treating A&E patients in the third quarter, coming in at 94.6 per cent.

Performance in the early weeks of this year has been poorer still at 93.9 per cent. Performance had been hit by an ‘unprecedented and sustained increase’ in demand particularly in December with emergency admissions in quarter three over 20 per cent up on the same period the year before. Despite opening extra beds, the level of demand in January was so high that elective operations had to be cancelled to allow more room for emergencies.

The board heard this was impacting on its service performance rating with Monitor which was now amber-red and if it missed the target in quarter four it could be found in significant breach of the terms of its authorisation. The trust has also had 17 cases of c difficile in the year to date against a target of nine for the full year.