CASUALTY waiting times in Huddersfield look set to be cut even further.
Accident and emergency staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary are working to ensure that virtually all patients are treated within four hours.
Hospital casualty departments are receiving great numbers of patients because of difficulties obtaining a family doctor outside normal working hours.
The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, which runs the Infirmary, has been set the target by the Government of treating and either admitting or discharging all patients who come into the A&E department within four hours, by next August.
All hospital trusts in the country are faced with the same task.
Already, 90.6% of patients at the Infirmary and at Calderdale Royal Hospital are seen within the target time.
Mrs Judy Moorhouse is associate director of the local Emergency Services Collaborative, whose task is to make sure 100% of Trust patients are seen within four hours.
She said no extra staff would be employed to help the Trust hit the target, but they aimed instead to achieve the goal by working with other agencies and making administration changes.
"It is about looking at patient journeys and seeing where small system changes can be implemented, which do not cost an awful lot of money but which require staff to think about doing things differently.
"This reduces the amount of time wasted, such as waiting for the results of blood tests or waiting for porters to move patients from one department to another."
Project groups have been set up to see where time-saving measures can be made.
The groups cover:
* Minor injuries.
* Emergency medical patients who need a longer assessment and observation period of up to 24 hours.
* Medical patients who need long-stay admission to hospital.
* Surgical patients needing admission.
Mrs Moorhouse said a lot of patients with minor cuts and bruises did not need to be treated in hospital.
"We are working with primary care trusts, and the GPs, to look at a lot of patients that come in with minor injuries," she said.