OVER 7,000 people are awaiting treatment at Airedale Hospital, new figures show.

Across the Bradford district – which also includes BRI and St Luke's – the number stands at almost 28,000, the highest for a year.

But the hospital trusts have been praised for ensuring patients are seen within a national target of 18 weeks.

Latest NHS England data shows that in May, the number waiting for treatment at Airedale Hospital was 7,211.

Hospitals have to ensure 90 per cent of inpatients and 95 per cent of outpatients are treated within the target timescale. At Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, 90.7 per cent of inpatients and 96.3 per cent of outpatients were being seen on time.

A spokesman for the trust said the number of patients waiting for treatment would fluctuate month by month for a variety of reasons.

She said: “Our priority is always to focus on each individual patient to make sure they receive timely and appropriate treatment, in line with their clinical need, and we make every effort to meet – and are achieving – the national 18-week target for patients being referred for treatment at Airedale."

A spokesman for local patients’ watchdog Healthwatch Bradford and District said: “These figures show that there is ever increasing pressure on health services and that our local trusts are performing well against the waiting list targets.

“We know that staff at both Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust work really hard under sometimes difficult circumstances to deliver the best treatment for their patients.”