"A long-term plan" is in place to reduce waiting lists for routine hospital treatment after analysis found a borough constituency to be the second worst in the country.

In NHS analysis published by the Financial Times, the Bury North constituency, which includes Fairfield General Hospital, was named as having the second longest waiting time in England. 

The medium waiting time for patients in the area seeking non-urgent treatment in February was 18.8 weeks, four weeks more than the national average of 14.8 weeks.

Brighton and Hove topped the list with 20.7 weeks.

Six Greater Manchester constituencies featured in the top 10 worst waiting times in the country of the analysis, with Manchester and Trafford both experiencing 18.4-week waits.

The NHS website states that the maximum waiting time for non-urgent consultant-led treatments should be 18 weeks.

NHS Greater Manchester acknowledges there had been an increase in the waiting list size but that the overall waiting time in the county had improved in the last 12 months, with the total reduction being among the top 25 per cent nationally.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to offer support to patients who are waiting and prioritise those who have waited the longest or have the most urgent clinical need.

“We know that there is still a lot more to be done especially for Bury residents, which is why we have a long-term plan in place to continue reducing the waiting list even more over the coming years and recover waiting times in line with national expectations."

The NHS has also stated it has implemented surgical hubs which aim to reduce waiting times for some of the most common planned procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

Mutual aid between hospitals has also been agreed as well as investing in new technologies which they hope will make receiving treatment quicker and more effective for residents across Greater Manchester.

The Department of Health and Social Care told the Financial Times: “We continue to make huge progress in reducing the overall NHS waiting list, which has fallen by almost 200,000 over the past five months — the biggest five-month fall in the waiting list in over 10 years outside the pandemic.

“This is a significant achievement in light of winter pressures and industrial action.”