Cornish patients wait more than 18 weeks for treatment

Image caption The hospital said emergency operations had affected waiting times

More than 1,000 patients are having to wait more than four-and-a-half months for treatment at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, a health trust says.

Cornwall's Primary Care Trust said that five specialisms within the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) were not seeing patients within 18 weeks.

ENT, gynaecology, ophthalmology, oral surgery and orthopaedics are affected.

The RCHT said planned operations were reduced for a time, but that more were being scheduled to help reduce lists.

A PCT board meeting was told that, by 2 January, there was a backlog of about 1,100 patients across the five specialties.

Other hospitals

The RCHT said: "Our usual capacity to carry out planned operations has been reduced in recent months whilst our day surgery unit at Royal Cornwall Hospital has been closed to undergo a £3.3m redevelopment and expansion to provide a specialist radiology suite.

"We have also been treating higher than expected numbers of emergency patients, which does impact on our ability to admit our planned patients."

The trust said it would carry out more operations through other theatres to get waiting times back on track and it was also going to carry out additional procedures on Saturdays to reduce waiting times.

Some patients would also be offered treatment at other hospitals, it added.

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