4-Hour A&E Targets & Fines to be Scrapped

Some Hospitals in England have had key fines scrapped with the aim of improving their financial position and to help meet financial savings goals. 

This announcement comes on the same day the Department of Health announced NHS Student Bursaries are to be cut.

Previously, NHS trust in England were fined £120 for any patient who had to wait for more than 4 hours in A&E. This time-frame starts from the second of admission to departure.

Fines however were capped so that when performance drops below 85% or a major incident declared no more penalties were imposed.

In this controversial agreement between NHS England and the Department for Health these and other fines such as those for routine operations and access to cancer services have also been scrapped.

The move was criticised by the Patients Association. Its chief executive Katherine Murphy said: “This is the slippery slope back to the bad old days of never-ending waiting times and uncertainty – with patients left endlessly on A&E trolleys and waiting for life-changing operations. Where is it all going to end?

Each hospital will be given it’s own target for improvement and it allows them to access funding without achieving the official targets.

You can read a full breakdown of the changes on the BBC website.