Norfolk health trusts hitting waiting time targets

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:20 02 July 2010

Dan Grimmer

Health bosses say they are providing a 'high level of performance' for patients as the latest waiting time research shows all Norfolk trusts are hitting government targets.

Health bosses say they are providing a “high level of performance” for patients as the latest waiting time research shows all Norfolk trusts are hitting government targets.

Figures released by the Department of Health show that at the end of November 2009, there was just one patient waiting longer than the 26-week national target for inpatient services and one waiting longer than the target of 13 weeks for outpatient services in NHS Norfolk's area.

In all other health services across Norfolk there were no breaches in waiting times in either outpatient or inpatient services, which includes the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney and the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston,

Steve Davies, interim chief operating officer for NHS Norfolk, said: "This is a very low number of breaches of the targets, which represents a consistently high level of performance of NHS Norfolk's providers.

“NHS Norfolk is committed to making sure patients receive an excellent level of service locally, so we investigate each breach on an individual basis and work with our service providers to ensure any performance issues are resolved collaboratively.

“At a time of unprecedented levels of activity, this low number of breaches is a testament to the hard work and commitment of front line health staff in Norfolk.”

Nick Coveney, director of nursing and patient services at James Paget University Hospital, said: “Waiting time is a key issue for patients and we are committed to seeing them as quickly as possible - without compromising safety or standards - according to their clinical needs.

“The vast majority are seen by us within national guidelines and we continue to meet our waiting times in key areas.”

John Turner, assistant director of information and performance analysis at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said during the past year, the trust had met “challenging” waiting time targets - which means that patients are now receiving faster treatment than ever before.

He said: “Occasionally a patient will wait slightly longer if they have more complicated needs or choose not to begin their treatment when scheduled.

“When this happens, we will arrange treatment as early as possible on a date convenient for the patient, and always within a maximum of 26 weeks from their first appointment.”

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