Northampton General Hospital not reaching waiting time targets in two of three key areas

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Northampton General Hospital is failing to reach its waiting time target in A&E treatment and cancer care but has found success in planned operations, a study has found.

This is according to research done by the BBC amid a time of unprecedented pressure on the National Health Service, in which there has been a rise in the number of patients needing care in A&E, for cancer treatment, and operations like knee and hip replacements.

NGH cancels planned operations today after admitting 770 poorly patients to beds over festive period
The targets are considered the three key NHS waiting time measures.

For A&E, hospitals across the UK are given four hours to treat and discharge, admit or transfer a patient. All are expected to do so in 95 per cent of cases.

NGH's figure stands at 83 per cent, based on data released in November, and when compared to the average in England (88.9 per cent) ranks the trust 100 out of 133.

The target was last hit by NGH in August 2015, and this time last year it was doing better by 0.3 percentage points.

When it comes to cancer treatment, hospitals aim to begin treating patients within 62 days of their urgent GP referral.

NGH's percentage (76.5 - based on figures released in October) is under the 85 per cent national target and compared to an average in England of 82.3 per cent, ranks the hospital 110 out of 133 trusts.

This target was last achieved by the Northampton hospital in December 2016, and this time last year it was doing better by 5.2 percentage points.

Meanwhile Northampton's main hospital did reach its target in planned operations and care, also known as planned hospital care or non-emergency treatment.

In England, the target percentage of patients who should be waiting less than 18 weeks for their surgeries is 92 per cent.

NGH scored 92.1 per cent, beating the target by 0.1, a total which is also above the English average of 89.3 per cent.

Out of 126 trusts, NGH is ranked 42nd in the delivery of planned ops and care and was doing better by 0.3 percentage points at this stage year.

A spokesperson for Northampton General Hospital said: “Meeting the targets for cancer services has been a huge focus for us and as a result, we’re on an upward trajectory and currently meeting seven out of the nine cancer targets, with clear plans in place to sustain that improvement.

“The challenges in meeting A&E targets are well documented. Although our patients may have to wait for longer than we would like, we are working hard to keep them safe and as comfortable as possible. At all times, we prioritise the safety of our patients above everything else.”