FAIRFIELD hospital is the best in Greater Manchester for seeing patients in a timely manner at A&E.

The hospital is also one of the best nationally for the same measure.

Fairfield General Hospital was praised at a council meeting this week for its emergency department performance despite being slightly shy of the NHS target.

Steve Taylor, chief officer at Fairfield said: "We're the best performing site in Greater Manchester, but we are still failing slightly."

NHS England asks that 95 per cent of A&E patients spend no more than four hours in the department.

This means patients should either be admitted, transferred to another service or discharged within four hours of arriving in the emergency department.

Figures from December for England show hospitals seeing 86.4 per cent of patients were seen in four hours.

Fairfield's year to date figure is 90.13 per cent of patients seen.

A report presented to Bury Council's health and wellbeing board on Monday showed how Fairfield was fairing compared to the other adult hospitals in the region.

Tameside Hospital was next best with 87.4 percent, while Manchester Royal Infirmary performed worst with 72.57 per cent.

Data in Mr Taylor's report showed Fairfield was doing well despite rising A&E attendances, up five per cent on last year ­— an extra 2,500 patients so far this year.

At the same board meeting a report by the Care Quality Commission ­— the health watchdog ­— also noted Fairfield's good work.

Inspectors said: "The emergency department at Fairfield General Hospital has one of the best performance rates nationally in seeing patients within the four-hour target."

Though they did note: "However, the quality of safeguarding assessments within wider clinical assessment documentation was poor."

Councillors asked about the difference between winter and summer admissions.

Mr Taylor said: "We usually see a slight increase in attendances [in winter] but we see an increase in acuity.

"The busiest time is probably June with children outside getting cut fingers, but during winter they are at home playing on their Xboxes."

Mr Taylor presented a second report to the board outlining readmission rates at the hospital, data showed that readmission rates had been declining since April 2018 and he was pleased with "three consecutive months below the average".

This improvement was also seen across other Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust sites ­—North Manchester and Oldham .

The patients most likely to return were those with pneumonia.