Soaring waiting lists in Fairfield Hospital constituency second worst in the country

Date published: 15 June 2024

Plans are in place to tackle soaring hospital waiting lists, after analysis found a borough constituency to be the second worst in the country.

Recent NHS analysis, spotlighted by the Financial Times, revealed that residents of the Bury North constituency, home to Fairfield General Hospital, suffer the second longest wait times for routine treatments in England.

"A long-term plan" is now in place to reduce waiting lists for routine hospital treatment after the analysis found the constituency to be the second worst in the country.

Patients seeking non-urgent treatment in Bury North, served by Fairfield General Hospital, face a gruelling 18.8-week wait – four weeks longer than the national average of 14.8 weeks.

Greater Manchester constituencies dominate the top 10 worst waiting times, with Manchester and Trafford each seeing 18.4-week waits. Despite the NHS's 18-week maximum guideline for non-urgent treatments, waiting lists have swelled.

However, NHS Greater Manchester notes a significant improvement over the past year, with waiting times dropping into the top 25 percent nationally.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to offer support to patients who are waiting and prioritise those who have waited the longest or have the most urgent clinical need.

“We know that there is still a lot more to be done especially for Bury residents, which is why we have a long-term plan in place to continue reducing the waiting list even more over the coming years and recover waiting times in line with national expectations."

The NHS has also stated it has implemented surgical hubs which aim to reduce waiting times for some of the most common planned procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

Mutual aid between hospitals has also been agreed as well as investing in new technologies which they hope will make receiving treatment quicker and more effective for residents across Greater Manchester.

The Department of Health and Social Care told the Financial Times: “We continue to make huge progress in reducing the overall NHS waiting list, which has fallen by almost 200,000 over the past five months – the biggest five-month fall in the waiting list in over 10 years outside the pandemic.

“This is a significant achievement in light of winter pressures and industrial action.”

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