Southampton audiology waiting times among the best in the country

Richard inserting an ear mould

Latest figures show half of patients receive their treatment within just six weeks from being referred by GPs, while every patient is seen by 15 weeks - three weeks under the government's target.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust's audiology service is one of the best performing in the country for reducing waiting times.

The Department of Health set a target of treating 95 per cent of patients referred directly by GPs to the audiology rehabilitation service within 18 weeks by December 31 2008, but SUHT had already achieved this by December 24 2007

Audiology departments across the country were also set a second target for diagnostic waiting times of seeing all patients for investigation within six weeks of referral by April 1 2008.

SUHT's audiology service met this target by the end of December 2007 and has maintained this performance ever since.

Sue Robinson, audiology service manager at SUHT, said: "Being one of the best hospitals in the country for reduced waiting times is a superb achievement by our staff and great news for patients.

"As well as providing much quicker treatment, we are working hard to ensure it is of the highest possible quality."

In order for the department to keep check on the quality of its service, it now employs the DoH's Quality Enhancement Tool.

The tool covers five domains - clinical quality, technology, workforce/training, quality of patient experience and performance management systems and processes - and contains 383 items to score.

SUHT's first submission of results was made last month.

Posted on Monday 16 March 2009