The Royal Bolton Hospital has begun its battle with Government-set treatment waiting times in successful fashion. The number of patients who have to wait more than 18 weeks for treatment has fallen since last year.
The hospital is currently under close scrutiny after it was severely criticised by independent health watchdog Monitor for failing to meet its treatment waiting time targets for the last year. Just earlier this year, hospital chiefs were summoned to London to answer for their poor performance. As a result of that meeting, the hospital was given a red risk rating, not just for missing aforementioned targets, but also its accident and emergency four-hour target times for the last six months.
However, new figures show that the hospital has now met the new national standard of 92 per cent of patients waiting no longer than 18 weeks before starting treatment. The trust scored 94.2 per cent.
The hospital’s head of communications, Heather Edwards, said: “We’ve been working hard and will continue to work hard on these targets and are pleased to see that we are seeing improvements.”
The hospital, despite currently meeting Government standards, will be looking to continue their development, as figures show that five per cent of patients are still waiting more than 24 weeks for an in-patient appointment, and at least one person has been waiting for more than a year.
In the past 12 months, more than 2,500 patients had to wait for more than 18 weeks. One in 20 patients – about 900 people – had to wait for nearly six months or more. Seventy four patients waited more than a year between 2011 and 2012.