Hospital on course to meet targets

By Katy EdwardsALMOST 200 patients were waiting for more than a year for treatment at Ipswich Hospital, latest figures have revealed.The hospital has been trying to shift a backlog of 173 inpatient and day cases on waiting lists at the end of January to meet key performance targets by the end of this month.

By Katy Edwards

ALMOST 200 patients were waiting for more than a year for treatment at Ipswich Hospital, latest figures have revealed.

The hospital has been trying to shift a backlog of 173 inpatient and day cases on waiting lists at the end of January to meet key performance targets by the end of this month.

A hospital spokeswoman said staff had pulled out all the stops to clear the lists, leaving only a dozen patients still waiting for dates for surgery.


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The intense activity resulted in the busiest day last month when bed occupancy went past 100%, forcing staff to set up temporary beds.

The spokeswoman added bosses were “hopeful” the remaining patients could be dealt with over the next two weeks, although she admitted it would be a “tough challenge”.

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Another challenge will be outpatient waiting times, which were still above target in January, with 156 patients waiting more than 21 weeks for a first appointment. They will all have to be dealt with by the end of March.

The spokeswoman said only a sudden influx of emergency cases would prevent the hospital from achieving waiting time targets.

“In that case, we would have no choice but to reschedule the planned operations,” she added.

Ipswich Hospital is determined to win back another star in the Government's performance ratings after being reduced to a single star trust last year.

Trusts are judged according to NHS performance criteria, with the results published in July, and missing key outpatient and inpatient targets would not bode well.

However, Ipswich Hospital has achieved 100% compliance in the number of cancer patients seen within two weeks of an urgent GP referral - an area that let it down last year.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds had 151 inpatient and day cases waiting longer than 12 months in January, dropping to 144 by Februrary 14. There were 80 outpatients waiting more than 21 weeks in January.

Figures recorded last Friday at Colchester General Hospital showed there were three patients waiting more than 21 weeks for a first outpatient appointment and there were 54 day case patients waiting more than 12 months.

A spokesman for the hospital said he was confident the lists would be cleared over the next two weeks.

A spokeswoman for Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge said it was on track to meet the inpatient target of 12 months and the outpatient target of 21 weeks.

katy.edwards@eadt.co.uk

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