Royal Bolton medics say they ‘working tirelessly’ to reduce waiting lists with more than 150 fewer surgery patients now waiting for more than two years.

This comes with healthcare staff focused on tackling the huge backlog in case caused over the last two years by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has now announced that just nine patients are currently waiting more than two years for surgery compared to 174 in March this year.

Clinical Skills Facilitator Amanda Peplow said: “We’re working tirelessly to reduce our waiting lists and make sure our patients are seen as quickly and as safely as possible.

The Bolton News:

Staff at Royal Bolton have been 'working tirelessly' to reduce waiting lists

“We’re currently carrying out approximately 1,100 operations every month, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve already.

“Equally, it is so important people seek medical advice for their conditions or concerns at the earliest opportunity so that we can help you as soon as possible.”

Patient  Michael Kinley arrived at Royal Bolton’s operating theatre ward to have his gall bladder removed due gallstones on Tuesday July 26, after having waited six months.

He said: “After having been in quite significant pain I am so relieved to have reached the point where I can finally be pain-free again.

“I’ve had the pain for quite a long time and this should put an end to it.”

Gallbladder removal is a relatively common procedure, but the team at Royal Bolton has also been dealing with more complex cases delayed by the pandemic.

Trust managers say that theatre store staff have been crucial to tackling the backlog by making sure there is enough equipment to hand to ensure that operations run smoothly.

The Bolton News:

Store assistants like Des Dunleavey play a crucial role at the hospital

Store assistant Des Dunleavey said: “Without maintaining the stock levels and ensuring the right kit is available a lot of operations would unfortunately have to be cancelled.

“Our role within the department is crucial like any members of the team, be it nurses or doctors, because if any of us don’t perform it has an effect on each other and our patients.”