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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 07:32 GMT
Heart services 'could do better'
Heart monitor
Health bosses say some heart waiting lists have decreased
Coronary heart disease services in the Plymouth area have been told they are performing well, but could do better.

It follows a review carried out between April and October 2003 by the Commission for Health Improvement and the Audit Commission.

The report said waiting times for operations have come down and significant progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing and treating coronary heart disease.

But it also says access to services tends to vary, with people in north and east Cornwall often having to wait longer than those in Plymouth or south and west Devon.

The review aimed to measure progress towards certain national standards set by the government which need to be met by 2010.

It said some patients were waiting more than a year for an angiography, an x-ray examination of blood vessels, to see if they need treatment.

However, the South West Peninsula Health Authority said those figures had already been brought down and the waiting time should be under nine months by March.

The authority also said there had also been progress in efforts to stop people smoking, to get them to exercise more and eat more healthily.

Andy McKeon from the Audit Commission said: "This important review shows how well the local NHS is meeting the standards set by the government for care of heart disease in the Plymouth area and how well extra money invested in the NHS is being spent."


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