PERFORMANCE: Southampton City clinical commissioning group has had to revise the area’s 2013-14 action plan in the face of surging demand for emergency services.

Emergency attendances have seen a “marked increase” in April, CCG board papers for May said.

“High levels of emergency demand and failing emergency department  performance standards remain a challenge for the Southampton health system.”

CCGs were leading the revision of a whole system action plan for 2013-14 to implement changes ahead of the autumn.

A minor injuries unit pilot was going in quarter one, while ambulance handover delays “are now contractualised,with penalties in the form of fines.”

The first week of May was one of the busiest of the past year, the papers said. A “surge” in bank holiday demand saw attendances 6.9 per cent higher than the same period last year.

The increase was considered unusual for quarter one, and was expected to fall back to growth levels of less than 1 per cent seen in quarter four of 2012-13.

“Performance remains substantially below the operating standard but is slowly improving from the very high levels of 4-hour breaches recorded over winter. Re-attendance rates remain high at circa 10 per cent”, the papers said.

“System partners” were “re-invigorating efforts to implement immediate changes at an operational level across all organisations”.