PERFORMANCE: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust met the national accident and emergency waiting target over the December and January period, but fell short of its own aspiration to maintain 98 per cent of patients seen within four hours.

A January board paper said: “In operational terms, the last month has been particularly challenging. This was also the case over the Christmas/New Year period.”

It said that at the end of quarter quarter the trust achieved 96.4 per cent which, although above the regulatory requirement set by Monitor, it described as “disappointing in terms of the trust’s intention that it should maintain 98 per cent”.

It noted: “There have continued to be significant issues with performance within the A&E department due to increased attendances and in the latter part of the month, particularly over the Christmas and New Year period, difficulties with access to beds due to the high level of admissions.”

The papers said the medical director and chief nurse/chief operating officer had met with the clinical director to agree a series of short term actions to improve performance.