Saturday, 28 November 2015

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North Cumbria's hospitals meeting waiting list targets

North Cumbria’s hospitals are now meeting waiting list targets in many areas.

Cumberland Infirmary photo

Nationally trusts must aim to see patients within 18 weeks of them being referred.

The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven have been struggling in some areas, but are now showing signs of improvement.

Latest figures, published by NHS England, show how the hospitals are performing in various specialities.

For example, in geriatric medicine 99.1 per cent of patients had been seen within 18 weeks. Half of these were waiting less than four weeks.

In rheumatology, 95.1 per cent of patients were seen within the time scale, with half waiting less than three weeks. In cardiology the figure was 95.6 per cent and in general surgery it was 93.2 per cent.

In gastroenterolgy, 90.2 per cent were seen within 18 weeks and ear nose and throat the figure was 90.9 per cent.

Areas where the percentage was under 90 per cent included gynaecology, which stood at 89.4 per cent, and dermatology, where only 85.2 per cent of patients were seen within 18 weeks. The figures are for the year up to February 2014.

A spokeswoman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said they have been focusing largely on hitting the four-hour waiting target for A&E, which has an impact on the wider hospital.

They are now turning their attention to the waiting times in other areas.

“We have made some really good progress over the past 12 months in reducing waiting times for patients and this is down to the hard work of all our staff in Carlisle and Whitehaven who should be very proud of the contribution they have made,” she said.

“Our A&E performance has seen a real improvement and we are now regularly meeting the national standard for 95 per cent of our patients to be seen within four hours.

“Our focus now, as we continue on our journey of improvement, is on reducing the number of patients who are waiting longer than 18 weeks for their planned treatment with us. Although we are achieving the national standard for 90 per cent of inpatients being treated within 18 weeks in some areas, we still have much to do to achieve this across all specialities.”

Cancer waiting times continue to be a concern, with the trust not yet meeting the 62-day national target.


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