Hospitals hit targets six months early

PUBLISHED: 12:48 23 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

Hospitals chief executive Jan Filochowski

Hospitals chief executive Jan Filochowski

TARGETS on the waiting times between patient referrals and hospital appointments locally have been exceeded six months early. West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT), which operates St Albans City, Hemel and Watford Hospitals, was required to meet Government t

TARGETS on the waiting times between patient referrals and hospital appointments locally have been exceeded six months early.

West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT), which operates St Albans City, Hemel and Watford Hospitals, was required to meet Government targets for all trusts on the number of patients seen within 18 weeks of referral by December this year.

But WHHT has announced it is already seeing 90.1 percent of admitted and 98.5 per cent of non-admitted patients within that time frame - six months ahead of schedule.

Another achievement was 100 per cent performance against national targets in cancer care with all patients now being seen within 31 days of the diagnosis for all types of the disease.

This July accident and emergency saw 99 per cent of patients within four hours of arrival at the hospital - which is above the national target. And the new Children's Emergency Department at Watford General Hospital has come into use.

Sickness absence among staff has reduced to below the national average and July also ended with a £1.8-million surplus.

Chief executive of the WHHT, Jan Filochowski said: "I am pleased to report that our performance continues to improve which is excellent news for the patients of West Herts. This provides us with a substantial base from which we can build for the future."

He said the Trust was confidently predicting the Healthcare Commission would rate them as "fair" for the last year - a significant improvement on the previous two years of "weak" ratings.

Mr Filochowski also said internal measurements were predicting that the Trust was achieving a level that would attract a "good" rating in next year's assessment.

He pointed out that WHHT's business case, which was key to creating the new Watford hospital, was being supported by the Strategic Health Authority.

And a public consultation would be launched in September on the subject of WHHT becoming a Foundation Trust - a new type of NHS trust designed by the Government to devolve decision making from them to local organisations and communities to make it more patient-led.

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