WAITING times are being cut in Huddersfield as more operations are being carried out in the community.
The removal of lumps and bumps are just some of the minor procedures already being done in GP practices and health centres across the town.
Now hospital waits for podiatric surgery - including bunions, hammer toes and other arthritic conditions - are set to drop with the opening of a new unit at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.
The move coincides with the biggest healthcare review for five years which is under way in Huddersfield at the moment.
Changes to services are expected to be announced next week, marking the start of a 14-week public consultation.
But in Holmfirth, the newly refurbished department - featuring an operating theatre, recovery room and three consulting rooms - will mean patients previously treated at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary will be seen more quickly and in specialised surroundings.
Gary Boon, consultant podiatric surgeon, who is running the centre, said: "It is an initiative to reduce orthopaedic waiting lists.
"It frees up time for orthopaedic surgeons to do more knees and hips.
"Patients can come here and go home on the same day which is safer for them because they are not kept in hospital which reduces their chances of catching infections."
He said patients were given local anaesthetics and most were able to go home with painkillers just 20 minutes after receiving surgery.
Jo Bibby, project director of the healthcare review being carried out, said: "There is a lot that can be provided in the community or as a day case.
"When people do need specialised surgery in a hospital we need to make sure they are being cared for in the right environment and to make sure it is as safe and as effective as possible."
* Tomorrow: The Examiner looks at care for older people.