PERFORMANCE: More than 1,400 patients had to wait longer than four hours in A&E at the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust in March.

The trust, which is made up of the Pilgrim, Grantham and Lincoln hospitals, has seen significant poor performance on A&E targets at Pilgrim Hospital where in March, just under a quarter of patients were waiting over four hours.

A total of 76 per cent of patients were seen within the time limit.

For the year to date the hospital managed to treat 83 per cent of patients within the four hour target, far short of the government target of 95 per cent.

Across the trust in March there were 1,437 breaches of the four hour target out of 14,402 attendances.

The trust has said the problem at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital was due to waits for a bed and capacity issues for step-down facilities in the community.

It also said there were ongoing issues with medical and nursing gaps, with an increase in complex cases making the situation worse.

Pilgrim Hospital was criticised by the Care Quality Commission last year for failing standards in 12 out of 16 categories. A second review in August 2011 found it was still failing in three areas.

To improve the situation the trust plans to launch a recruitment drive to fill medical and nursing vacancies at the hospital. Specialities will also be required to review patients within 30 minutes and an emergency care operational manager has been put in place “to ensure accountability and embed new ways of working”.

At Lincoln hospital the trust said it had seen problems waiting for intermediate care facilities and complex discharges. It has brought in extra consultant cover from February.

The trust is also working to improve patient flows through the hospital to free up capacity for the A&E department.