HUDDERSFIELD patients are being treated in hospital in record times, latest figures show.
More than 95% of people are now being seen within 18 weeks of being referred by a GP – the shortest wait since records began.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and the Calderdale Royal Hospital, is treating 96.7% of patients needing to be admitted against a national 90% target.
And the survey reveals that almost 99% of outpatients are getting through the system in 18 weeks – a better performance than the national target figure of 95% of patients.
The figures are a stark comparison with those in 2003 when 483 patients waited more than 13 weeks for orthopaedic surgery.
In 2008, that number was only 18.
Consultant Martin DeBono is the doctor who has spearheaded the Trust’s 18-week project and he welcomed the much-improved statistics.
Mr DeBono said: “We have achieved excellent ratings in all specialities through close working with all healthcare partners.
“That includes the GPs and the primary care trusts. The vast majority of people in the Calderdale and Huddersfield areas are receiving their treatment within eight to 10 weeks.
“And overall, 95% of our patients receive their treatment within the 18 week target. This is a reflection of a lot of hard work by a lot of staff.
“The emphasis now must be to sustain these achievements for our patients.”
He revealed that a number of measures and procedures have been put in place across the Trust’s hospitals to help drive down waiting times.
For example, patients needing treatment for post-menopausal bleeding – which can sometimes signal cancer of the womb lining – have seen their wait reduced from three months to around three weeks.
More than half the patients in Yorkshire are being seen even sooner – within eight weeks.
The figures put our region in the top five health authorities in the country for hitting the 18-week target early.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: “I would like to congratulate NHS staff in Yorkshire and the Humber on their fantastic performance against the 18 weeks target.”