A commitment to improve by NHS Forth Valley

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Health officials have given assurances they are working to reduce delays to treatment across a number of areas.

It comes as new figures show NHS Forth Valley was the worst performing health authority in Scotland last August for treating A&E patients within four hours.

It treated or admitted 93.5 per cent of patients within this period compared with the Scottish target of 95 per cent.

The last time the board met the target was in March, according to new statistics revealed in BBC research of all the UK’s health authorities.

It also performed poorly in treating cancer patients 
urgently referred for treatment.

In April to June it treated 81.1 per cent within the 62 days, compared to a Scottish average of 86.9 per cent and a target of 95 per cent.

It was the second worst performer in this area, with only NHS Western Isles recording a lower figure.

While Forth Valley beat the Scottish average of treating patients within 18 weeks, recording 86.4 per cent compared to the national tally of 84.8 per cent, it was still below the 90 per cent target.

A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said: “The vast majority of patients with cancer in Forth Valley are seen and treated very quickly and we consistently meet the 31 day target.

“Our performance in relation to the 62 day target for cancer treatment has also improved significantly over the last few months. Most patients who require an operation are seen within 18 weeks and our performance for this target is above the national average.

“While we have experienced challenges in meeting the A&E target, we are continuing to do everything possible to reduce delays. All patients who attend our Emergency Department are seen and assessed to ensure patients with more urgent or serious health issues are treated quickly.

“In many other cases, patients will undergo tests and start treatment while they wait to admitted or discharged.”