PERFORMANCE: The performance of hospitals in Bolton against key waiting times indicators continued to deteriorate in December, the primary care trust reported.

The commissioner estimated that breaches of the 18 week referral to treatment target for functions excluding orthopaedics rose to 46 per quarter among its providers, compared with 37 per quarter in November.

In reference to the issue, the PCT’s latest performance report states: “The issue of [Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust]’s poor performance was discussed at the recent joint Operational Liaisons Group meeting. RBH has been tasked with developing a robust action plan by 27 January 2011 and identified trajectories which will ensure achievement of the  admitted and non-admitted targets at specialty level.”

For orthopaedics, NHS Bolton estimated the rise from 13 to 15 per quarter over the same period.

Bolton’s already failing performance against Accident and Emergency waiting times also deteriorated slightly. Across all the PCT’s providers the percentage of patients seen within four hours fell from 96.8 per cent in November, to 96.5 per cent, against a target of 98 per cent or above.

At RBH the proportion fell from 95.1 per cent to 94.7 per cent over the same period.