Shropshire hospitals bottom of waiting lists

Waiting lists at Shropshire's two main hospitals are the longest in the West Midlands and in the bottom six nationally.

One in four patients waits longer than the government's 18-week target for treatment at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal in Telford.

"It's not acceptable," said managing director of the Telford and Shropshire Primary Care Trusts, Leigh Griffin.

He said they were working with the hospitals to bring waiting times down.

"I think it was mainly a function of additional demand coming into the hospitals, that the hospital systems struggled to deal with," said Mr Griffin.

"We felt that... we had provided funding for additional capacity at the beginning of the year, but we've realised more is required and more has been provided."

Plans to reduce waiting times should be in place by Christmas and include increasing doctors' hours, hiring more agency staff and asking patients if they would like to be treated at other hospitals.

"We are committed and working closely with both hospital trusts to get down to this 18-week standard.

"We want to be among the best in the country by the end of March."

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