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NHS: Targets

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which hospital trusts in 2008–09 did not meet national targets for (a) accident and emergency four-hour maximum waiting times, (b) 18 weeks overall waiting time for treatment, and (c) methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus; and which of those trusts did not meet any of those targets in 2007–08. [HL5275]

Tables showing which hospital trusts in 2008-09 and 2007-08 did not meet the national standard for accident and emergency four-hour maximum waiting times have been placed in the Library.

The 18 weeks maximum referral to treatment standards came into effect from 1 January 2009. Therefore, no acute hospital trust failed to achieve the standards prior to January 2009. Performance information on acute trusts that failed to achieve one or both of the admitted or non-admitted 18 weeks standards in January, February or March 2009 is shown in the document Trusts Failing to Meet 18 Weeks Standard in 2008-09 which has also been placed in the Library.

In November 2004, the Government set the National Health Service (NHS) a national target of reducing Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections by 50 per cent, over the 2003-04 quarterly average, by the end of March 2008. The NHS met this target on time and since then has continued to reduce levels of MRSA bloodstream infections. The latest quarterly figures (Q4, 2008-09) show that there has been a 64 per cent reduction in MRSA bloodstreams infections compared with the 2003-04 quarterly average.

The 50 per cent target was set nationally, not at trust level, as the number of MRSA bloodstream infections in individual hospitals can be very small, even zero. In such cases, it would not be realistic to expect trusts to achieve a 50 per cent reduction.

The 2009-10 operating framework recognised that some variation in performance on MRSA bloodstream infections exists across the NHS, and required those trusts with continuing high levels of preventable MRSA bloodstream infections to address this. The department’s targeted support team continue to work with these trusts as required to achieve this.

The Health Protection Agency publish data on MRSA bloodstream infections by trust on a quarterly basis on their website at: