Waiting lists at Queen Alexandra Hospital improve – but more can be done

IMPROVING Queen Alexandra Hospital
IMPROVING Queen Alexandra Hospital
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WAITING lists at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital have been cut after measures were taken to improve poor performance.

The proportion of patients being seen in hospital within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP now stands at 82 per cent.

That is a huge improvement on August when the figure stood at 64 per cent – placing Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust as the third worst out of 167 trusts.

But it is still short of the 90 per cent target set by the government, and the national average which stands at 90.4 per cent.

The improvement comes after a huge drive to cut a backlong of patients waiting for treatment at the Cosham hospital.

Speaking to members of Portsmouth City Council’s health overview and scrutiny panel, Cherry West, chief operating officer at QA, said: ‘We started the year with a patient backlog of 1,600 patients who were waiting longer than 18 weeks.

‘We don’t want any patients to be waiting longer than they need to. At the end of November our backlog stands at 576.

‘So we still have a long way to go.

On average you have around 300 people, so we’re still working to get the backlog down.

‘But I’m pleased to report that waiting times have gone down and we are closer to achieving the 90 per cent standard.

‘Our latest percentage shows we are at 82 per cent.

‘Hopefully this provides some assurance we are moving in the right direction and clearing the backlog.’

The trust has been cutting waiting lists in a number of ways including making more use of other community services, tightening adminstration and looking to hire new staff.

The improvement has been welcomed by patient forum group Link, whose members work closely with the trust.

Acting chairman Terry Carter said: ‘No-one should be waiting longer than they need to and it’s good to see something is being done to reduce the number.

‘Improvements have been made and we will be working alongside the trust to see these continue.’