PERFORMANCE: University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust had 100 patients waiting over 12 hours in accident and emergency, accounting for more than half of such waiters nationally, figures for the last three months of 2014 reveal.

Across England in the third quarter of 2014-15 174 patients waited over 12 hours from the decision to admit until admission, meaning the trust was responsible for 57 per cent of the total.

University Hospitals of North staffordshire Foundation Trust

The trust was responsible for 57 per cent of the total patients waiting over 12 hours in the last three months of 2014

The trust, which was created when University Hospitals of North Staffordshire took over the running of Stafford Hospital in November, has recently experienced intense pressure in its A&E services.

In the last week for which data is available (the week ending 28 December) only 74 per cent of patients were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours, against the 95 per cent target.

On Monday the trust declared a “major incident” at Stafford and Royal Stoke University hospitals because of “unprecedented demand” on services, resulting in action being taken such as the cancellation of non-urgent elective surgery.

This status was “de-escalated” this morning, although the trust said many of the measures put in place would remain “as the health system returns to a more stable position”.

HSJ specifically asked the trust what lay behind the high number of 12 hour waiters, but was not given an answer.

In a statement, trust chief executive Mark Hackett said: “Like many other trusts, we are currently experiencing significantly increased demand on our services.

“We are putting in place additional measures to ensure people are seen as soon as possible and to reduce the longest waiting times.”

He said the trust would open an extra 138 beds between October 2014 and March 2015, and was encouraging people to use other health services where possible.

The trust with the next highest number of 12 hour waiters was King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust with 17, while Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust had 15 patients waiting 12 hours.