Tough targets set for all inpatient and outpatient appointments have been delivered on time across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).
The new targets were set to deliver guarantees to all patients including Accident and Emergency (A&Es) and cancer treatments and these targets have been achieved through investment, new ways of working and the ongoing re-design of how we deliver our services to patients in hospital, clinics and in the community.
Today Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, praised NHSGGC staff for meeting waiting times targets and striving to further improve services. She said: “Staff through-out the NHS have played a vital role in achieving these results. They should take great satisfaction from the knowledge that their hard work in improving waiting times targets will ensure the best possible services for patients.
‘I want to thank staff across the NHS for their dedication and commitment to delivering high quality healthcare for the people of Scotland. The progress that is being shown across a wide range of targets is only possible through the goodwill and effort of everyone working in the health service.
‘It is extremely positive news that patients are now being treated more quickly than ever before. This will make a real difference to them and their families as they cope with the demands of being unwell.’
Robert Calderwood, Chief Operating Officer of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Both clinical teams and managers have worked tirelessly over the past year across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to enable us to deliver waiting times targets, and as a result thousands of patients have benefited.
“An added bonus was that we managed to achieve the 18 week maximum wait a full year early in December 2006 and this has been maintained throughout 2007.
“And as well as maintaining the 18 week maximum wait we have now eradicated and replaced Availability Status Codes (ASCs) with a fairer and more demanding New Ways protocol.”
The scale of achieving this has been a mammoth task. In April 2006 12237 in-patients and 7467 out-patients had an ASC code (whereby patients in particular circumstances did not qualify for a time guarantee for treatment). However, once again our staff rose to the challenge and managed to maintain the new waiting times and eradicate ASC codes.
We have dramatically improved the speed patients are seen in our A&Es with 98% of patients treated and discharged home or admitted to hospital or a care home within a maximum of four hours of arrival.
Again this has been achieved through the efforts of our staff including doctors, nurses and managers working as a team to improve admission procedures, the use of beds and arrangements for the appropriate discharge of patients back to their homes.
What is more in September last year we announced the latest £4m investment to boost our diagnostic services and have delivered on a maximum waiting time of just nine weeks for all MRI and CT scans, non-obstetric ultrasound and barium enemas.
Robert Calderwood added: “Patients attending Glasgow and Clyde hospitals should be confident that every effort is being made to ensure they are seen and treated as quickly as possible.
“I would wish to re-emphasise that without the massive effort of our entire workforce we would not have been able to deliver the significant improvement to patient waiting times over the last 18 months.”
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