False waiting time figures probed

A hospital has apologised and launched an inquiry after hundreds of patients’ records were altered to suggest NHS waiting time targets were met.

Records were changed to claim patients were treated within four hours at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.

A review found 765 records were amended between March and September.

The hospital previously said it met government targets of treating 98% of patients within four hours, but the review shows in reality it did not.

The actual figure is 97.4% rather than the published figure of 98.3%, which was based on the altered records.

‘Small number’

Officials are now looking back even further to see whether records from other periods were altered.

Dr Peter Homa, chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The scale of the problem relating to the inaccurate reporting of breach numbers remains unclear at this stage.

“However our initial review, which was initiated on Friday when this first came to our notice, indicates this involves a small number of patients.

“We would like to reassure our patients and the public that this has not in any way affected the standard of care our patients have received at our hospital.

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