Hospital waiting lists still up

HOSPITALS in Suffolk are making slow progress when it comes to bringing down waiting lists for operations, it was revealed today.Figures produced by the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) show that, while hospitals are meeting current government targets, they are not on track to hit new ones when they are introduced next March.

HOSPITALS in Suffolk are making slow progress when it comes to bringing down waiting lists for operations, it was revealed today.

Figures produced by the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) show that, while hospitals are meeting current government targets, they are not on track to hit new ones when they are introduced next March.

Current targets state no-one should wait more than 13 weeks for an outpatient appointment, and between April and July no-one in Suffolk did.

However, this figure will come down to 11 weeks in March 2007 and hospitals have set themselves target figures in the run-up to this to gradually bring waiting times down. The figures show hospitals in Suffolk are currently well above these guidelines - the target for July was 75 but there were actually 516.


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Waiting times for inpatient operations are also higher than health trusts hoped they would be at this stage of the year.

Currently, people should wait no more than 26 weeks but there were six breaches of this limit at Ipswich Hospital between April and July.

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Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: “We have been carrying out a really scrupulous audit to make sure all our systems are working well and that was when these cases were picked up. They were down to human error and we have put a range of measures in place to reduce this in the future.”

By March 2007, no-one should be waiting more than 20 weeks but in July there were still 968 people waiting more than that time at Ipswich, despite the hospital setting themselves a target of 279.

However Ms Rowsell said the hospital are confident they will be able to meet the new targets when they are introduced.

She said: “Our track record in achieving all the national standards is pretty impressive and a lot of the changes we are making to the hospital over the coming months should help even further.”

Have you had a long wait for treatment at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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