Waiting time woe

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

WIGANERS are waiting longer than the rest of the North West for operations according to the latest figures.

A report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) had the 12th worst average waiting time in January this year for patients admitted to Wigan hospitals.

The average waiting time of 12.8 weeks was the highest in the North West. Nationally, the average waiting time for admitted patients was 8.7 weeks.

The hospital trust also had a high waiting time for patients who declined reasonable offers of admission and chose to wait longer (known as adjusted admissions) with an average wait of 12.6 weeks - also the 12th worst figure in the country.

WWL performed better on the waiting time for patients who were not admitted to hospital, but still needed treatment, with an average time of 4.2 weeks, which is below the national average of 4.4 weeks.

WWL also saw 86.9 per cent of patients admitted to hospital treated within the Government imposed 18-week deadline. Some 97.2 per cent of non-admitted patients were also treated within 18 weeks.

A spokesmann for WWL said: “Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust can confirm that our waiting times for admitted pathways and adjusted admitted pathways is higher than other Trusts within the region.

“The main reason for this higher percentage is down to the specialist services, namely orthopaedic services that WWL provides.

“Such services like orthopaedics have a high volume of patients, which can distort the results.

“Patients are referred to our specialist Centre of Excellence, Wrightington Hospital, from all over the north and beyond.

“However, what the percentages do not explain, is that a patient could be referred to WWL for such a service as orthopaedics on Week 16, and beyond of the 18 Week target. This time is not reset when the patient becomes our patient, but continues, and therefore when the patient is treated is then classified as a WWL breach.”