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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is continuing to make significant strides forward in the speed and quality of care to patients.
By the end of September 2006 the total number of patients waiting for urgent inpatient/day case treatment had dropped to all time low and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is well on its way to meeting the new target of 18 weeks for both inpatient and outpatient treatment by 31 Dec 2007.
Dr Brian Cowan, Medical Director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "Last year we met the new target to ensure none of our patients waited more than 26 weeks for urgent outpatient or inpatient treatment. This target has been maintained throughout the year and we continue to drive down waiting times as we work towards meeting the new waiting times targets which come into force at the end of 2007."
The figures released today on diagnostics show we are well on target to meeting tough new delivery standards and that continued improvements are being recorded across our hospitals to shorten waiting times in our accident and emergency departments.
And in regard to meeting the demanding cancer targets, we are continuing to make improvements year on year – for example, in Clyde the percentage of cancer patients seen within 62 days (from urgent GP referral to first treatment) increased from 58% for the second quarter of 2005 to 84.6% for the second quarter of 2006. In Greater Glasgow the percentage of cancer patients seen within 62 days (from urgent GP referral to first treatment) increased from 74% for the second quarter of 2005 to 78.2% for the second quarter of 2006.
We have continued to maintain our high performance in the treatment of breast cancer and are working to improve waiting times for all types of cancer, particularly colorectal and urology.
In particular, we have implemented a number of significant changes to reduce cancer waiting times, including investment and redesign of services to ensure that additional appointments and/or reduced waiting times are available for diagnosis and treatment including radiotherapy…and we know that these changes are delivering for patients who are now being seen and treated more quickly.
The introduction of nurse endoscopists to increase the availability of colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy appointments and thereby speed diagnosis has also played a major role in improving our performance. Ongoing training of staff will ensure that further specialist nurses are available to expand this development further.
Work is also underway to speed up access to X-ray diagnostics to further reduce bottlenecks in the system and ensure patients awaiting cancer investigations are seen as quickly as possible.
Patient treatment plans for each cancer type are all very different.We are makingconcentrated efforts to ‘track' all our cancer patients, for all types of cancers, to ensure they progress rapidly and effectively from urgent referral on to confirmed diagnosis and then treatment.
These new ‘tracking systems' are enabling us to further improve our cancer treatment waiting times.The system involves a weekly review of each individual patient to ensure that patient is receiving the most effective service possible.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde treats over 10,000 new cancer patients every year from across the West of Scotland, a population of over 2.5 million.
For further information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.