A hospital trust has blamed system issues after telling patients they faced a 30 hour wait at A&E.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the information being shown by its website was not correct, though warned that the department at Darlington Memorial Hospital was “very busy”.

It is understood that on Tuesday morning, when the website was telling patients there was a wait time of a day and six hours, the real wait time was 10 hours.

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The trust said it is resolving the issue as “a matter of urgency” and apologised for concern caused. It has now removed the page from its website. 

People are being asked to only attend hospital in “the most serious emergencies”.

Darlington and Stockton Times: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the information being displayed on Tuesday was incorrectCounty Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the information being displayed on Tuesday was incorrect

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have had some issues with the system on our website which displays the waiting times to be seen in our emergency departments at Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham. 

“This is currently being resolved as a matter of urgency and we apologise for any concern it has caused.  Both departments are very busy and are looking after a lot of patients.  We ask people to help us by only attending hospital in the most serious emergencies.”

The trust said it was unable to comment furter on the cause of the issue. 

Sarah Dodsworth, Regional Director for the Royal College of Nursing's Northern Region said: “If, as reported, a 30-hour A&E wait time at Darlington Memorial Hospital was down to a website error, this could have led to a serious situation putting patients off seeking care when they really needed it. Even waiting times of 10 hours are very concerning. Delays like this put patients at risk and are simply unacceptable.

“Sadly, long waiting times are now the ‘new normal’. Recently the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee highlighted some 50,000 nursing vacancies across the NHS in England. It’s no wonder staff are exhausted and feeling burnt out. Experienced nursing staff who stayed in the profession during the pandemic are now leaving in greater numbers.

“Staffing shortages undermine efforts to tackle the care backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ability to give safe and effective care.  The government must act to address the workforce crisis. One of the simplest ways to keep more staff is a fair pay rise that truly recognises their professional skill."

Waiting times for A&Es has been raised as an issue across the country.

Last month, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust reported it had met its target of seeing patients within four hours just 70.8 per cent of the time.  

For its major A&E departments that fell to 48.7 per cent.

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A total of 12,513 people attended the major A&Es in Darlington and Durham during the month, making the trust the busiest in the North East.

Of those, 6,092 were seen within four hours and 6,421 waited for more than that.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Nationally, four-hour performance at major emergency departments was 58.8 per cent – the second worst four-hour performance on record.

More than two in five patients were delayed by four hours or more.

June was the busiest month of the year so far, measured by the number of emergency admissions, with 364, 641 across the country.

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