BOLTON’s A&E department has been awarded a six-figure sum — for achieving its targets.

It comes six months after health watchdog Monitor placed Bolton NHS Foundation Trust at “red risk” for missing both its A&E targets and 18-week waiting times.

Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) invested £800,000 in the Royal Bolton Hospital’s A&E department, which included funding for a Clinical Decisions Unit.

The national A&E target states 95 per cent of people should be admitted, treated and discharged within four hours.

Royal Bolton fell just short of this from October to December, last year, at 94.4 per cent. The figure for January to March this year was 92.4 per cent.

Since April, the Foundation Trust has achieved the target each month, and in the quarter covering July, August and September, achieved 98.1 per cent.

Bolton CCG has awarded the A&E department £225,000 under the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUINS) scheme.

It comes as the Trust needs to save £50 million over the next three years.

In August, Monitor issued a damning report placing the Trust at “red risk” for its finances and intervened directly by appointing David Wakefield as an interim chairman.

An internal investigation was also launched to investigate how £3.8 million was “unaccounted” for at the Trust.

Chief executive Lesley Doherty said: “Patient experience has improved greatly as a result of staff across the Trust — but particularly in A and E — working hard to make this happen.

“As we move towards winter we will be aiming to sustain these good figures.”

Su Long, chief officer, Bolton CCG, said: “The A & E targets being reached is very encouraging news, and comes after a lot of close working between the CCG and the foundation trust. We have supported the trust in a number of ways and this, combined with hard work from their staff, has led to this sustained improvement. The CQUIN scheme was designed to encourage high quality performance in a number of areas, and the challenge for both the CCG and the trust is to sustain those targets that are being met and achieve the rest, through working together.”

Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on the Health, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “The money for consistently achieving A&E targets is very welcome and is just reward for the hard work of all hospital staff. I hope the additional money will be used to support continued improvement in A&E and not used to shore up the hospital’s precarious financial position.”