Trust’s hospital waiting lists reach record monthly levels
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.