Hospital apologises after delays

IPSWICH Hospital has today said sorry after patients were left waiting for more than six months for treatment.

IPSWICH Hospital has today said sorry after patients were left waiting for more than six months for treatment.

Andrew Reed, the chief executive, issued a personal apology to 21 patients who were not treated quickly enough.

The serious lapse has lead to high levels meetings with the hospital's commissioners, NHS Suffolk, and Mr Reed pledged that steps would be taken to make sure the delays did not happen again.

“We are very sorry that 21 patients waited 26 weeks for their operation when they should have been seen within 18 weeks,” he said.

“It is unacceptable and we are looking at how we manage waiting lists in very fine detail to make sure this does not happen again. We have recently had a very good record for treating patients quickly and I want to ensure that we retain this.

“Our challenge is to match the standards of clinical excellence within the hospital which we are renowned for, with excellence in all our processes.”

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The standard for waiting times is that absolutely no-one should wait longer than 26 weeks from being placed on a waiting list, and almost all patients should be treated within 18 weeks.

Earlier this year the Heath Road hospital was given a notice to improve by NHS Suffolk for underperformance on waiting times.

The hospital said it had treated nearly 70,000 patients within 18 weeks in 2008/09 and had hit the standards until February.

The problems with the waiting lists came after an exceptionally busy winter period for the hospital, with high levels of staff sickness, which had a knock-on effect on the hospital's capacity.

Each of the 21 patients affected has already been treated or will have their operation within the next few days.

Did you have to wait too long for treatment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

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