We announced back in early 2014 that we had introduced a new reporting system which had identified several issues with our reporting of waiting times, dating back several years.
We carried out an urgent piece of work, looking closely at the data, which showed that thousands of people had been waiting too long to be seen. A long-standing mismatch between capacity and demand, coupled with the issues with reporting our performance, meant that a significant backlog had built up.
Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins said:
“It is crucial that patients are seen as quickly as possible and we are sorry that a lot of patients are waiting too long for treatment. We are taking urgent action, working with our local partners and stakeholders, to ensure high quality, accessible care for our patients.
“We have significantly reduced the backlog of patients who have been waiting by putting on extra clinics to see and treat the people who had been waiting too long, but we know there is a much more to do. This year (2015/2016) we will have provided 520,000 outpatient appointments – 25,000 more than last year, and are committed to meeting the waiting time standard by the end of 2016/17.
“We have around 1,000 patients who have waited more than 52 weeks for treatment. They have been contacted and we are booking in their appointments for the coming weeks.
“We have put in place a robust recovery plan, with support from the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England, which will see us meet the referral to treatment waiting time standard by the end of 2016/17.”