HEALTH chiefs today vowed to end problems for hospital patients in Huddersfield.
They promised action after a report revealed they had failed to meet targets for patients in several areas - including cancer care and stroke care. The report, by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust's assistant director Ben Edwards, shows:
* Only 66% of eligible patients were cared for on a specialist stroke unit. The target is 100%.
* Urgent 62-day referral to treatment in cancer cases stands at 72%. The target is 100%.
* The percentage of patients who waited less than 13 weeks for a first outpatient appointment is 83%. The target is 95%.
* Cancelled operation numbers were more than double the trust's target. But targets for helping many others are being met - notably strong performance against the most important national targets such as A&E waiting times, operation waiting lists and some types of cancer referrals.
CANCELLED operations, failure to refer and treat some cancer patients properly and stroke victims having to settle for second best.
These are just some of the problems facing the National Health Service in Huddersfield, according to a new report.
The performance review document was revealed to the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust board today.
The report, prepared by assistant trust director Ben Edwards, shows:
* Only 66% of eligible patients were cared for on a specialist stroke unit. The Trust target is 100%.
* Urgent 62-day referral to treatment in cancer cases stands at 72%. The Trust target is 100%.
* The percentage of patients who waited less than 13 weeks for a first outpatient appointment is 83%. The Trust target is 95%.
* Cancelled operation numbers were more than double the Trust's target. They stand at 1.35% against a target of 0.60%.
The problems for the stroke ward and outpatient waiting have been classified as a "significant risk".
However the new figures for the stroke ward are better than last month's figures.
Mr Edwards wrote: "This is an improvement on last month's performance of 54.6%, however, still presents a significant risk."
But John Lawlor, director of service development at the Trust, said they had maintained strong performance against the most important national targets, such as accident and emergency (A&E) waiting times, operation waiting lists and other types of cancer referrals.
The Trust was praised in the report for meeting key targets.
These include no patient waiting for more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital and 98.3% of patients being processed in A&E in four hours.
They were also praised for their "strong performance" on achieving 100% in the urgent breast cancer GP referral to treatment category.
Bob Macdonald, general surgeon and medical director at the Trust, said: "The target for a GP urgent cancer referral to treatment within two months is one area we are looking to see improvements."
Mr Macdonald said the Trust was striving to improve performance to the 100% target. This comes into force nationally in December.
He added: "This is a challenging target but this is a high priority for the Trust."
Mr Lawlor said the Trust was meeting the current 17 week outpatient waiting times.
But he said the new standard of 13 weeks to be introduced nationwide in December was already being met in some areas of the trust.
"A few remaining problem areas are being tackled," he said.
The Trust recognised the distress to patients of operations cancelled just before surgery.
"As a result the trust is looking at how it can ensure less planned surgery is carried out when there are likely to be a lot of emergency admissions."
Mr Lawlor admitted the Trust would be unlikely to meet the 100% target for specialist stroke unit patients.
He added: "There are some stroke patients, for example the terminally ill, whose needs are best served by palliative care teams, rather than in a busy specialist stroke unit."