Huntingdon hospital 'best for waiting times in the East of England'

HINCHINGBROOKE Hospital in Huntingdon has significantly exceeded new, tougher waiting time targets, beating the rest of the region s acute hospitals. In January, the NHS introduced a new standard to ensure that all patients are treated within 18 weeks of

HINCHINGBROOKE Hospital in Huntingdon has significantly exceeded new, tougher waiting time targets, beating the rest of the region's acute hospitals.

In January, the NHS introduced a new standard to ensure that all patients are treated within 18 weeks of being referred. Hinchingbrooke met this target early, and the results for January show that the hospital is the best performing in the East of England at ensuring patients are assessed, diagnosed and treated within 18 weeks.

The Department of Health targets are that 90 per cent of patients needing inpatient treatment and 95 per cent of patients needing outpatient treatment are seen within the time limit.

At Hinchingbrooke in January, 97.19 per cent of patients needing inpatient treatment and 99.81 per cent of patients needing outpatient treatment were seen and treated within 18 weeks.

In addition, the hospital's accident and emergency department continued to meet the target of having all patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival. Hinchingbrooke met the national target is for 98 per cent of patients to be seen within this time.

Mark Millar, chief executive of Hinchingbrooke, said: "Patients see the time that they wait for treatment as an important aspect of their care, and nationally, the NHS has seen this as a top priority to improve the patient's experience of their care.

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"These targets are challenging and not easy to meet, especially during periods of winter pressures, so our staff should feel very proud of their exceptional hard work in not only meeting them, but in achieving some of the best results in the whole region."

Across the county, waiting times were the lowest on record, according to NHS Cambridgeshire, as the primary care trust now styles itself.

January figures for the whole county were that 94.1 per cent of patients who were admitted to hospital, and 98.2 per cent of patients requiring treatment, but did not need to be admitted, were treated within 18 weeks.

A patient survey showed that three-quarters of patients starting treatment were happy with the time it took, a spokesman said.

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