Hospitals hit waiting list targets

GOVERNMENT health chiefs were expected to reveal today that no patient in England is waiting more than nine months for an operation.And according to health bosses in East Suffolk, all target access times are now being achieved whether it is at Ipswich Hospital or out in the community.

GOVERNMENT health chiefs were expected to reveal today that no patient in England is waiting more than nine months for an operation.

And according to health bosses in East Suffolk, all target access times are now being achieved whether it is at Ipswich Hospital or out in the community.

At Ipswich Hospital at the end of March no patient was waiting more than nine months for an operation, compared to a few years ago when some were waiting up to 24 months.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for East Suffolk NHS said: "We are delighted because across the health care system all Primary Care Trusts in East Suffolk have 100 per cent achievement.


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"Which ever sector of health you look at whether it is health care in the community or at Ipswich Hospital the targets are being met.

"It all means that patients are getting treated quicker."

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Ms Rowsell said that within the community all patients should now be able to see a GP for a routine appointment within 48 hours or get an appointment to see a health care professional such as a practice nurse within 24 hours.

Last month the Evening Star revealed how Ipswich Hospital was linking up with the private Nuffield Hospital in a bid to slash waiting times.

The Nuffield is set to treat more than 1,000 patients from around the region who had been waiting the longest for treatment.

Nationally today, NHS chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp is set to publish his annual report on NHS performance which will include the latest monthly waiting statistics.

The Department of Health said the report will set out how the extra investment pumped into the NHS during 2003-04 had resulted in significant improvements in performance.

Last month figures showed that in February 19,400 people in England were waiting longer than nine months for admission - a fall of 10,000 since January.

The Department of Health said it was confident it was on target to meet its pledge that no-one will be waiting nine months by April 1, expected to be confirmed in today's figures for March.

This means 19,400 people waiting nine months or more would have to have been treated during March.

On average the NHS admits 15,000 patients every day.

n. What do you think? Are you impressed or disappointed with how long you have had to wait for an appointment? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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