West Middlesex Hospital is being less than transparent in its dealings with patients waiting in A&E. Here is an anecdotal report from a clearly anxious man supporting his wife there, ambulance as reported in the Community Forum of ChiswickW4.com, dated 9th November.
"I am not sure what West Middlesex is playing at. I had to take my wife there 3 weeks ago at approx 8.30pm on a Saturday night. Reception told us there was a 4 hour wait even though it didn’t look too busy. They asked us if we wanted to wait!! Not sure what they expected us to say....why would we go to A&E if we didn’t think we needed a doctor? The whole time we waited the TV screens reminded us that there was a 4 hour wait. As far as I could see some people who arrived after us who were deemed to be ‘more urgent’ were seen within half an hour to an hour. I didn’t have a problem with that as I fully appreciate some issues are more urgent than others. My wife was seen after about 2 hours and by that time there were only 4 patients waiting. However, the TV screens still ‘warned’ people that the waiting time was 4 hours. As we were leaving the reception was still telling newcomers that the wait would be 4 hours even though she could clearly see there were very few people still waiting. Why would they do that? Is it to try prove a point regarding statistics or......??? I really can’t figure out the motivation in wanting to make poorly people more anxious".
What West Middlesex is not telling this patient is that the management accountants of West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust do not really want to offer an A&E service because, above a baseline number of patients, they are "losing money" i.e. not being properly reimbursed by the NHS for treating A&E patients. This is a hidden truth: it is well known in NHS circles, but not known by the general public. Please see the summary of the National Audit Office report of 7th November 2014 below.