PERFORMANCE: The number of NHS Stockport patients waiting more than six weeks for key diagnostic tests rose sharply in December, its latest performance report shows.

There were 31 breaches of the six week limit for the primary care trust’s patients that month, taking the total for the year to 50. In 2009-10 NHS Stockport had just 20 breaches for the full year.

The PCT’s target is to have fewer than 10 breaches a year for any one of 15 key diagnostic tests. In December there were 11 breaches of the limit for gastroscopy tests, all at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mark Chidgey, the PCT’s associate director of finance, contract performance, and information, had written to the foundation trust about the issue, an NHs Stockport report on the issue said. But it noted that the FT had “responded denying the relevance of the target”.

The report added: “This response has been escalated to the strategic health authority and NHS Manchester. NHS Manchester met with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December and an outcome of the meeting is awaited.”