• Official data for March shows there were 137 “trolley waits” of at least 12 hours at Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust
  • Trust says a new internal system had skewed the numbers, so the true number of 12 hour breaches was around 70 – still the highest in England
  • There have been serious performance problems at the trust this year

PERFORMANCE: Around 70 emergency patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted at an acute trust in Greater Manchester in a single month.

Official data, published by NHS England last week, said there were 137 “trolley waits” of at least 12 hours at Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust in March.

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Pennine Acute reported 39 breaches in February and 21 in January

However, the trust said a new internal system had skewed the figures, so the true number of 12 hour breaches was about 70.

This would still be the most for a single trust in England, followed by Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust with 49 breaches.

Pennine Acute reported 39 breaches in February and 21 in January.

There have been serious performance problems at the trust this year, with the Care Quality Commission understood to have raised concerns about emergency services following an inspection in February. Its full findings are due to be published later this year.

HSJ asked the trust if any of the 12 hour breaches had led to patient safety incidents or harm, but this question went unanswered in its response.

As part of its urgent care improvement plan, the trust set a new internal standard in March meaning the clock was started earlier than in previous months.

A trust spokesman added: “This new policy was introduced in March 2016 and we alerted internal and external colleagues that this may cause a temporary increase in the number of 12 hour breaches declared as was experienced. The system has subsequently begun to stabilise and the numbers of breaches has fallen since March.”

Discounting Pennine Acute and Great Western Hospitals, in March there were 164 breaches across the rest of England.

Against the four hour target, Pennine Acute met the standard in 77 per cent of cases in March.