Our teams have been working extremely hard to see patients whose treatment has been delayed by Covid-19. They’ve reduced the number of those waiting for more than two years (104+ weeks) from 218 to 72 in just three weeks.
They’ve been doing overtime and running extra clinics and diagnostic session to help reduce the backlog.
This follows the discovery of an issue when we were tackling one of our waiting lists that was being used to deal with the backlog created by the pandemic. It contained routine referrals submitted by GPs for their patients to be seen by a specialist, but for whom there were no appointments available due to Covid-19. Unfortunately, these patients were removed automatically from this list before they had been seen.
The error has been fixed and we have contacted all those affected.
It means our waiting list increased by around 1,800 patients. This figure includes approximately 200 people who’ve been waiting more than two years for their treatment. The NHS target for clearing the 104+ weeks backlog is the end of June.
Our staff have been finding innovative ways to tackle this, including running blitz clinics and super weeks, particularly in key areas affected. These included two Ophthalmology ‘super weeks’; in the first 892 patients were seen, 175 procedures completed and a further 206 patients were booked for surgery; 920 patients were seen during the second super week, with a further 127 booked for their procedures. This was all done alongside running their regular clinics.
Our Gynaecology team has run two additional weekend clinics so far this month, seeing 158 patients. Our Radiology team has provided additional ultrasound capacity for these clinics to ensure we can prioritise those who have faced the longest waits, as well as patients needing urgent care.
Another additional clinic is planned for this Sunday (22 May) and Sunday 27 May, further weekend clinics will be held over the coming months. We have also allocated senior doctors to our regular weekday gynaecology clinics so we can see more patients.
Matthew Trainer, our Chief Executive (pictured above), said: “I am proud of how our teams have worked together to help those whose treatment has been delayed.
“In just three weeks, they’ve reduced the number of patients waiting more than two years from 218 to 72. I am confident their dedication and innovation will ensure we clear this particular backlog by the end of June, except for a small number of cases where patient choice may be a factor.