PERFORMANCE: Heatherwood and Wexham Park is carrying out a capacity review after missing the four-hour accident and emergency standard for quarter four of 2012-13.

Board papers said trust bosses planned to carry out a “detailed capacity review” to determine how many beds the trust required to meet the needs of the local community.

The trust last undertook a fundamental review of acute sector capacity in late 2011, to determine whether Wexham Park hospital was financially sustainable based on the needs of the local population it serves in the Slough area.

The new review follows a reconfiguration of services at neighbouring Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, which closed an emergency unit in Wycombe last year. This has led to more patients coming to Wexham Park, and has been cited as a key reason behind a decline in accident and emergency performance at Wexham Park in recent months.

The Heatherwood and Wexham Park board reports said of the new review: “This work will take into account the changed profile of our patients since the change at Wycombe last November [where the local accident and emergency unit was closed] and learn from the pattern of attendances and admissions we have experienced this winter to ensure we have sufficient capacity for the winter of 2013.”

In March only 80.3 per cent of patients were admitted or discharged in four hours or less.

The performance for the quarter was 84.4 per cent, and for 2012-13 it was 91.9 per cent.

The trust also expected to miss the target in April

The papers said: “The plans developed to resolve the issues are coming to fruition and the first modular ward opened mid month (The Christiansen Unit) with the second scheduled to open on May 2. The trust’s plan is to meet the standard in May.”

The papers also said commissioners were “being supportive” and had provided extra funding for nursing home placements.

Meanwhile, there has been a “significant rise in the numbers of patients with a length of stay of more than 28 days.