AN “UNACCEPTABLE” number of stroke patients are not being assessed quickly enough at the Royal Bolton Hospital, according to monthly figures.

Hospital bosses say surges in stroke patients and a lack of capacity are to blame for the missed targets, which are set nationally.

An additional stroke consultant is now being recruited to help the hospital hit its targets.

Patients who suffer a serious or life-threatening stroke are sent immediately to the specialist unit at Salford Royal.

Yet high risk transient ischaemic attack (TIA) — also known as mini-stroke — patients can be treated at the Royal Bolton.

To prevent a full stroke, 60 per cent of TIA patients must be investigated and treated within 24 hours — Bolton failed this in June with just 50.9 per cent.

Eighty per cent of mini-stroke patients must also be given a stroke bed within four hours of arriving in hospital.

The Royal Bolton unit also failed this with 78 per cent.

Michelle Redgard, divisional director of operations said: “It is not acceptable that for a small number of patients we have not met this target so we’re having a concerted effort to address the issues. It will take a few months before everything is fully implemented but then I do expect to see improvements.”

Dr Barry Silvert, clinical director for integrated commissioning at NHS Bolton CCG, added: “The CCG has been in discussions with Bolton Foundation Trust regarding performance against national targets relating to patients who have had a stroke. The trust was making substantial improvements during the spring and we commend the hospital staff for their efforts.”

“Unfortunately, performance over recent months has deteriorated. The trust has produced an action plan setting out how this will be rectified, following a request from the CCG. We will continue to work closely with the trust to monitor progress and hope to see improvements in the coming months.”