The government recently said “they do not recognise the figures” released about people waiting more than 4 hours in hospitals.
Using percentages has hidden the decline in performance in A&E departments! The actual number of people waiting more than 4 hours has been rising consistently; the “4 hour” target has done nothing to stop this.
Looking at the above chart you will see that ACTUAL numbers (of people waiting more than 4 hours) have risen from around 50,000 in 2010 to 270,000 at the end of 2016.
Lessons to learn:
- Percentages are not a good measure to use to monitor improvement
- Targets have not worked! The figures have been manipulated to meet the government targets until it has been impossible to fiddle anymore!
- Brian Joiner said: If you manage people by targets they will do one of three things;
a) work to improve the system. If they can’t do that, as they often are not:
b) distort the sytems and
c) distort the data.
The above chart shows how many people waited more than 12 hours before being admitted to hospital.
These figures reflect a failure in management and government. The NHS is in desperate need of clear process excellence programmes, with a clarity and continuity of purpose. The chart clearly shows the increase of numbers after 2014. These are government figures!
Let me be clear; I am not complaining against the NHS staff, but against the system which makes their job impossible to excel at.