PERFORMANCE: An upward trend in emergency admissions is putting pressure on West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust.

Admissions peaked at over 600 per week towards the end of 2011, although the trust’s performance against the four hour A&E standard remained above 95 per cent in November/December. Additional ‘surge’ capacity was used to cope with the extra patients.

But a report to this week’s board meeting states in early January emergency admissions were so high that the trust had to use the catheter laboratory “with all of the attendant financial and clinical risks associated with its use in this way”.