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Hospital penalised for quick care

4th August 2006

Quick treatment has cost a hospital £2.5 million in funding, after accidentally treating patients too fast.

Ipswich Hospital, in Suffolk, breached an agreement with East Suffolk Primary Care Trust that patients should wait a minimum of four months, and the PCT is refusing to pay for the cost of treatment.

The agreement was reached to help ensure equity of waiting among patients –but a number of patients have been treated more quickly due to spare capacity.

The hospital is more than £16m over budget and will now have to cover the money, which managers say will add to its difficulties.

The national target says no one should wait more than six months, although the average wait for non-urgent hospital treatment is around eight weeks, say the Department of Health.

 

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