Royal Bolton Hospital's endoscopy unit to be expanded after it misses targets
THE endoscopy unit at the Royal Bolton will be extended to cope with a spike in demand for diagnostic procedures after it was revealed it had failed targets.
Health chiefs have already brought in a mobile endoscopy unit after failing the six week diagnostic targets in June.
The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has issued an apology to patients facing delays.
Performance reports for June show the target for 99 per cent of diagnostics to be seen within six weeks was not met with 90 per cent of patients seen within this time frame And 291 patients waited for more than six weeks and 56 patients waited for more than 13 weeks.
The trust has put the increase in demand down to patient’s increased awareness of bowel cancer screening.
The backlog of patients is expected to last for up to three months. A spokesman for the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust apologised for the delays and said: “A rise in awareness — for instance via the bowel screening programme — has increased demand for diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy.
“We’re sorry for any delays, but to address this we now have a new mobile endoscopy unit on the site and long-term we are intending to increase capacity of the main endoscopy unit. It is important to note that we prioritise urgent and cancer patients.
“A number of the patients who have had a longer wait than usual are those whose endoscopy is a regular monitoring procedure.”
Cllr Martin Donaghy, vice-chairman of the council's health, overview and scrutiny committee, said he hoped the new unit would help shift the backlog of patients as soon as possible.
Cllr Donaghy added: “I am certainly disappointed by the figures but I hope that the measures put in place will be adequate to deal with the problem.
“We hope to see improvements in their figures in the next few months. ”
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