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Right Arrow Press Release - Big reduction in hospital waiting times - PR/02/0405
14 April 2004 at 11:24
The Department of Health sets each NHS Hospital Trust exacting standards and targets to reduce the time patients wait for outpatient appointments, inpatient admission and in Accident and Emergency. Hospitals are also required to meet targets for booking patients into services and to reduce cancellations of operations. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has achieved all its targets by the end of March this year, and most by last November.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust said “The greatest improvement in waiting times has been in inpatient and day case operations where the maximum time any patient has to wait is now nine months, but all our waiting times have improved in the last year. Although the maximum waiting time is nine months, over 60% of patients are treated with three months and almost 90% within six months. Only two years ago patients waited as long as 18 months for the same surgery.

“In all we have been able to reduce the number of people on our waiting list in the last year from 5,400 to 4,083, which is 706 patients less than the target set for us. We are very aware that waiting times are one of, if not the greatest concern for patients, and we are always working to improve our services.”

The figures for all disciplines are:

Waiting time for Cataract Surgery reduced from nine months to 11 weeks as a result of a major nationally funded initiative.

The maximum waiting time for a first routine outpatient Consultation reduced from 21 to 17 weeks, and only 235 people are waiting more than 13 weeks which is 11% ahead of the target set for us. Three years ago, over 2,500 people waited over 15 weeks and 600 over 26 weeks.

100% of urgent suspected cancer patients are seen within two weeks of referral.

97% of A&E patients are seen and treated with the target of four hours. This has led to the Trust being awarded an additional £100,000 under the Government incentive scheme.

As part of the drive to ensure all patients are able to book dates for their care which are agreed in advance, we achieved 99% of day case patients booked and 69% of outpatients (against a target of 67%).

2,000 more emergency admissions were treated than had been anticipated.

Only 62 operations were cancelled on the day for non-clinical reasons compared to 83 last year.

“These are excellent results which show how the Trust continues to meet and exceed the targets set for us. It is good news for our patients who now get a faster service than ever before. All of this success is due to the hard work of all staff.” continued Mr Parry, “Our next steps are to make sure no-one waits more than six months for their inpatient or day case care, and no more than 13 weeks for outpatient care.”


Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714