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Waiting times

Accident and Emergency (A&E)

We aim to see and treat our patients in the shortest times to enable them to return home more quickly.

What to expect when you arrive

  • When you arrive at the Accident and Emergency Department, at The County Hospital in Hereford, as a patient, after registration, you will be assessed by a nurse who will determine the nature of your illness or injury and how urgent it is for you to be seen.

 Waiting times

  • We continue to strive to see and treat all A and E patients within four hours and we are now working further to reduce this waiting time to within two hours.

 Clinical Assessment Unit (CAU)

  • Our CAU operates seven days a week.
  • The CAU works alongside the A&E department allowing specialist hospital staff to rapidly assess and diagnose patients whose condition can be treated without the need for an overnight stay in hospital. 
  • Patients are referred to the CAU by A&E staff or their GP for a wide range of conditions for example chest pain or abdominal pain.

 Trauma status award

  • We have been awarded trauma status which means we support the regional trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Our role is to provide assessment and stabilisation of trauma patients before transfer to the trauma centre, and rehabilitation for local patients once they are fit for transfer back to Herefordshire.

Faster access to treatment and shorter stays in hospital

To search for Trust services and waiting times click this link for the NHS website.

18 week promise - the NHS Constitution sets out the following patient rights:

  • to access certain services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer a range of suitable alternative providers if this is not possible

  • to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions

  • to be seen by a cancer specialist within a maximum of two weeks from urgent GP referral where cancer is suspected.We are committed to ensuring where possible that no patient will wait longer than 18 weeks from GP referral to hospital treatment. 

We work closely with the local Clinical Commissioning Group and GP Practices to ensure you are informed of waiting times at the point of referral and are offered the opportunity to be treated elsewhere if waiting times are shorter.

One point of contact

  • We have introduced new ways of working to provide professionals with one point of contact when referring patients to our hospitals to ensure faster access to treatment and all GP should the Referral Management Centre contact details.  

 Shorter stays in hospital

  • Our inpatient services provide some of the shortest lengths of stay in hospital in the country and low readmission rates.

 Earlier discharge from hospital to home

  • Our integrated approach and closer working has resulted in more patients benefiting from early discharged home or with care closer to home.


© Wye valley NHS Trust 2022