WAITING times are coming down at the hospital's A&E department but still falling short of national targets.

The Royal Bolton Hospital is still only getting 88 per cent of patients through the casualty department within four hours, up from 81.2 per cent in January.

This is below the national target of 95 per cent, but clinical director for commissioning Dr Barry Silvert said the figures are getting closer to the Greater Manchester target of 90 per cent.

He said: “The thing that we should be concerned about is the people that said they couldn’t get a GP appointment."

Dr Silvert told Bolton's clinical commissioning body that more than a fifth of those attending A&E are children under 12. He was also concerned about the number 18 to 45-year-olds visiting A&E, which is currently 43 per cent.

Mr Silvert also told the board that a quarter of people visiting A&E at the Royal Bolton Hospital do not live in the borough.

He said: “That doesn’t change. That’s been the case from time immemorial. It’s obviously very popular."