Many thousands of Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospital staff have risen to a major challenge and achieved key waiting times targets six months early.
Thanks to the efforts of hospital staff throughout the UK’s largest Health Board no patient will have to wait more than 15 weeks for a hospital appointment after they have been referred by their GP. Furthermore, the time between the decision to perform an operation and the operation taking place, has also been reduced to a maximum of 15 weeks.
These two major national targets were due to be achieved by March 2009 but NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) met the guarantee six months ahead of schedule and the new waiting times were applied from 1 October 2008.
Robert Calderwood, NHSGGC’s Acute Division Chief Operating Officer, has paid tribute to the mammoth task achieved by his team. He said: “The scale of rising to this challenge cannot be underestimated. Every member of staff from those working in facilities, wards, theatres, outpatients and clinics to nurses, senior and junior medical staff and managers have worked tirelessly to deliver these tough targets and as a result many thousands of patients are benefitting.
“Thanks to the dedication and innovative working of the whole acute hospitals team our patients are now being seen quicker than ever before.
“I would like to personally thank our staff for what is a remarkable achievement particularly when viewed in a context which sees NHSGGC treating some 88,000 inpatients, 362,000 outpatients and 145,000 day cases every year.”
NHSGGC, supported by dedicated funding from the Scottish Government, has committed major levels of investment in a wide range of hospital-based services to ensure improved waiting times are achieved and sustained in the long-term. This has included the creation of new consultant posts, additional clinics to run in the evenings and at weekends, expanding the role of nurse and allied health professionals to make best use of the entire acute team and additional theatre time for operations.
Mr Calderwood added that the momentum would not stop and work to further improve access for patients was already underway, he said: “The whole team are delighted with our achievements to date but we are already working on ways to deliver our next key milestone which is to reduce the guarantees from 15 weeks for outpatient and inpatient appointments to 12 weeks for both outpatient and inpatient as part of the commitment the Scottish Government has given to an 18 week guarantee from referral to treatment to be in place by 2011.”
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