WIRRAL hospital managers say they have made “enormous strides forward” in achieving A&E targets following a fine of £50,000.

Arrowe Park Hospital was fined after failing to meet a Government target of seeing 95% of its emergency patients in under four hours during 2012-13.

It missed by 0.6%, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, seeing 94.4% of patients within the time limit.

Since then, the trust says it has invested heavily in the hospital, spending £1.17m on locum and agency health workers during 2013.

David Allison, chief executive of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said it was important patients understood the failings - brought to light last week - were historical and are now on track.

He said: “The trust would like to clarify this is not a true picture of the current situation here at Arrowe Park Hospital.

"Patients want to know about their A&E wait today, not what they used to wait as far back as 18-months ago.

“2012-13 was an extremely challenging year for this trust, resulting in us missing the 95% target by just 0.6%."

Over the past 12-months, the hospital has achieved the 95% target in each of the three quarters this financial year, and says it is confident of this continuing in the current quarter.

Mr Allison added: “The patients we now see on a daily basis are sicker, frailer and have more complex health needs.

“Despite these needs bringing added pressure on our available resources, credit must go to our dedicated team who continue to work together to keep waiting times to an absolute minimum.

“The hard work is already being recognised in the feedback we receive and from the overall improved patient experience.”