PERFORMANCE: The rate of unplanned re-attendance at accident and emergency departments for NHS Bolton’s patients remained above the national limit for the fifth consecutive month in August, its latest performance report shows.

The target requires that no more than 5 per cent of patients re-attend A&E within a week of their first attendance. The rate recorded for NHS Bolton was 5.1 per cent in April 2011, rising to 6.4 per cent in June, and then falling slightly to 6.2 per cent in August.

To address the problem, the report said “workforce modelling” for the A&E “front door” was in progress, and plans were in place for an “additional acute physician workforce to deliver early decision making re admit/not admit”. A “re-ablement project” had also begun and a multi-agency “Re-ablement Strategic Core Group” set up.

It added that a series of “primary care work-streams” had been launched in the borough in October.

These included: “defining/collecting and routine reporting of urgent care demands in general practices as an early warning to other parts of the urgent care system; work with group of practices using diagnostics tool to review and improve access and agree borough-wide approach for practices working in collaboration with A&E to improve patients accessing parts of the urgent care system appropriate to their needs.”