NHS Chiefs congratulate Harrogate hospital staff for hard work under 'great pressure'

Ros Tolcher, Chief Executive of Harrogate District Foundation Trust.

Ros Tolcher, Chief Executive of Harrogate District Foundation Trust.

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Staff at Harrogate District Foundation Trust have been commended in writing by NHS chiefs for maintaining standards of care under immense pressure recently.

Over the festive period and the beginning of January, the hospital was under unprecedented pressure with A&E attendances and hospital admissions.

But despite being inundated with patients, staff still maintained the NHS target of ensuring over 90 per cent of people were seen within four hours.

The Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey, congratulated the Trust in his letter to its Chief Executive, Ros Tolcher.

He said: "Your Organisation has shown remarkable resilience under great pressure and, whilst much of the media focus is on the challenges faced by the NHS, I wanted you to know that your efforts have been recognised."

The 2016 December period saw more than a 10 per cent increase in the number of people (nearly 400 more) attending the Emergency Department compared to the previous year.

Last month also saw a 12 per cent increase in the number of emergency admissions to the hospital, which meant more than 200 admissions up on the same period in 2015.

Colleagues across the community services, and in particular the new Community Care Teams, have also been facing exceptionally high levels of demand.

Ros Tolcher, HDFT Chief Executive, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to colleagues in all parts of the Trusts who have worked diligently and with care and compassion through a period of quite exceptional demand.

"The first week in January was probably the busiest in the history of the hospital.

"The very strong performance of the Trust is a tribute to the excellent team work and commitment to providing care of the highest quality from staff across community and hospital sites.

"When the going gets tough, we rely on everyone playing their part – our porters, cleaning and domestic staff, nurses, therapists, doctors, site coordinators and manager all pulled together and that is what makes the difference."

During the difficult period, the Trust urged patients to consider their health needs and which service was most suitable for their care, but Dr Tolcher emphasised that this message remained relevant.

She said: “I would also like to thank local people who have thought carefully about where to go for healthcare and advice and followed the ‘Choose Well’ messages.

"As winter rolls on the challenges continue and I would urge people to continue to Choose Well. Please only come to the Emergency Department for genuine emergencies.

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