Trust’s hos­pi­tal wait­ing lists reach record monthly lev­els

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Claire MILLER & Leigh BOOBYER gloslive­[email protected]­plc.com

WAIT­ING lists at Glouces­ter­shire hos­pi­tals have hit record lev­els.

NHS Eng­land fig­ures re­vealed 56,533 peo­ple were wait­ing to start non-emer­gency treat­ment in the county at the end of March.

It is the high­est recorded fig­ure since records be­gan in Au­gust 2007, although it is the first month the trust which runs the county’s hos­pi­tals has sub­mit­ted data to NHS Eng­land since Novem­ber 2016.

A spokesman for Glouces­ter­shire Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust said it ac­knowl­edges na­tional stan­dards are not be­ing met, and is “de­ter­mined to rem­edy it”.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Im­prov­ing wait­ing times for our pa­tients is a key pri­or­ity.

“In recog­ni­tion of the im­pact on our

pa­tients, this is­sue is re­ceiv­ing a huge amount of fo­cus and we fully ac­knowl­edge we are not achiev­ing the na­tional stan­dard.

“We are ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined to rem­edy this and have ro­bust plans in place to en­sure we do this as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

He con­tin­ued: “Our ini­tial pri­or­ity was to en­sure all pa­tients re­ferred with sus­pected can­cer were seen in a timely way and the trust is meet­ing the twoweek wait­ing time for first out­pa­tient ap­point­ment which gives us con­fi­dence that our ap­proach is the right one.

“Steps we are tak­ing to im­prove rou­tine wait­ing times in­clude the pro­vi­sion of week­end and evening ap­point­ments, pro­vid­ing care in dif­fer­ent ways such as through tele­phone con­sul­ta­tions, the de­vel­op­ment of our cen­tral call cen­tre to en­sure a pos­i­tive first point of con­tact and more ef­fec­tive man­age­ment of our the­atres.

“We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor per­for­mance closely and are con­fi­dent we will make the nec­es­sary im­prove­ments so all our pa­tients ben­e­fit from more timely and ef­fec­tive care in the fu­ture.”

The British Me­dial As­so­ci­a­tion said the sys­tem is in “deep cri­sis”.

At the end of March, 79.7 per cent of those on the wait­ing list had been wait­ing less than 18 weeks - the tar­get is 92 per cent.

The trust had 95 pa­tients wait­ing more than a year for treat­ment at the end of March.

Among the spe­cial­i­ties at the Trust see­ing wait­ing lists hit record lev­els were car­di­ol­ogy, car­diotho­racic surgery, gy­nae­col­ogy, and neu­rol­ogy.

Across Eng­land the num­ber of peo­ple wait­ing to see a con­sul­tant had jumped to 4.23mil­lion at the end of March.

This is the high­est num­ber on wait­ing lists since records be­gan in Au­gust 2007, when 4.19mil­lion were wait­ing for treat­ment.

The num­bers were up from 4.14mil­lion in Fe­bru­ary, and up from 3.85mil­lion in March 2018.

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