Friday, 1 February 2008

Hospital cuts waiting lists to 18 weeks

WAITING times for appointments at Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, have significantly reduced - a year ahead of target.
The latest figures show that at the end of December, more than 90 per cent of all patients waited less than 18 weeks from when they were referred by their GP to when their treatment started.
This time included all the necessary steps in a patient’s journey before treatment could be started, such as diagnostic or other tests.
It was an improvement from November, 2006, when fewer than half of all patients were treated within 18 weeks.The hospital’s director of operations, Jon Scott, said: “This is a fantastic achievement.
“We have met the target of reducing waiting a year ahead of schedule.
“Our staff have done extremely well to look at everything they do to reduce unnecessary steps and ensure that different departments and teams work closely together.
“We have introduced more ‘one stop shops’ for patients so they do not have to make a second visit for a test, and we have redesigned services to better meet patients’ need.”
One recent patient in Musgrove’s orthopaedic department, Sheila Rogers, said: “I was brought in incredibly quickly, and in fact the whole thing was no more than about 12 weeks from start to finish.
“As my operation was so minor - a cyst on my toe - I expected to wait for ages, but in fact they offered me an appointment before I was expecting it.
“I was also really impressed that when I went in for my pre-op they gave me a full health MOT.
“People do worry about waiting for hospital treatment and it is great that waiting times at Musgrove Park are now so low.”
Project leader Ian Bramley said: “Achieving 18 weeks is great for the hospital and our patients, but this is only one step towards a system at Musgrove with no delays and no waits.”

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