PERFORMANCE: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has been struggling to meet accident and emergency waiting times requirements.

A County Durham and Darlington PCT board paper says the trust was being “monitored against” the target to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

It says in January the trust as a whole achieved 93 per cent. Its Darlington Memorial Hospital site achieved 96.6 per cent but University Hospital of North Durham only recorded 88.7 per cent.

The paper states: “The trust has struggled to cope with a lack of beds due to the volume of patients needing admitting; the closure of some beds due to the winter norovirus and the complexity of patient care required.”

It says the problem calls for, “additional beds/treatment rooms to be opened at both hospital sites to accommodate patient [and the trust to] expedite safe and appropriate discharges to home or community hospitals”.