PERFORMANCE: A difficult January has affected A&E waiting times at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust with performance dropping to 87.5 per cent against the four hour standard at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

The trust is taking action to improve performance but a report to the board reveals it does not expect its action to lead to it achieving the 95 per cent standard for this quarter.

Medical staffing in A&E is identified as a key problem along with the need to ensure that any additional beds opened to meet extra demand are adequately staffed. The report says that lack of staff has constrained the opening of additional beds and there are also concerns that bed occupancy rates should not be allowed to rise too much.

The trust is also in danger of breaching targets for the numbers of c difficile and MRSA cases. By the end of January it had had three MRSA cases – up to its limit – and 30 c dif cases, against a yearly target of no more than 34.