PERFORMANCE: Research commissioned by NHS Plymouth and Plymouth Hospitals Trust found up to 20 per cent of patients in the trust’s accident and emergency department did not need to be there.

Researchers conducted a three week audit of all emrgency admissions and a sample of elective admissions.

In her report to the board interim chief executive Helen O’Shea said: “The headline results are that up to 20 per cent of our emergency admissions could have been safely and appropriately treated in a setting other than Derriford Hospital - if that setting was available or even existed. In addition it showed that up to 30 per cent of our emergency in-patients could have been safely and appropriately transferred/discharged to another care setting yet had remained in a bed within the Derriford site.

“This information is going to be extremely useful to the whole health economy as we design the type of care settings we require for the future.”