THE HARD work of hospital staff in Andover and Winchester means the hospital has met its targets for emergency care.

In 2007/08 Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust - which manages Andover War Memorial Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital - met the four-hour target for patients.

It means more than 98 per cent of patients were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours at the minor injuries unit at Andover and the emergency department in Winchester.

As well as continuing to meet the four-hour target since the start of 2008/09, two new consultants have been employed.

There are now three A&E consultants and a nurse consultant and there are plans to recruit a fourth consultant.

Dr Ari Pillai and Dr Christopher Busuttil joined the trust in the summer.

As well as ensuring that patients get high quality and efficient care, they are both involved in the unscheduled care project'. The project involves GPs, the local authorities, Hampshire Pri-mary Care Trust, the Ambulance Service and the public.

It looks at how best to deliver unscheduled care - care that may be urgent or unplanned as opposed to booked appointments and procedures.

Dr Busuttil said: "Providing senior clinical assessment soon after attendance improves the quality of patient care.

"Fast specialist assessment and primary care response can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, allowing patients to remain in their own homes as much as possible whilst gaining better access to tests and treatment where needed."