Drop in patients facing longest waits at King's Mill Hospital

King’s Mill Hospital has seen a fall in the number of patients facing the longest waits for treatment, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Monday, 1st August 2022, 9:48 am
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 9:48 am

As part of an effort to clear the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS England committed in February to ending waits of more than two years, except in cases where the patient wishes to delay their treatment.

New figures show there were eight patients waiting this long for routine treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which run’s Sutton’s King’s Mill and Mansfield Community Hospital as of July 3 – the latest available data – down from 16 at the end of February.

Across England, the number of patients waiting two years or more fell from a peak of 23,778 in January to 3,548 at the start of July.

King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director, said: "These figures show our hardworking teams across the country are making good progress in addressing the Covid backlogs, with record numbers of diagnostic tests and checks in May, and fewer people facing the longest waits for elective care."

However, he warned more work is needed for the NHS to catch up.

He said: “There is no doubt the NHS still faces significant pressures, from rising Covid admissions, thousands of staff absences due to the virus, the heatwave, and record demand for ambulances and emergency care."

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The King's Fund think tank welcomed the figures, but cautioned the NHS remains in a ‘state of steady crisis’.

Danielle Jefferies, policy analyst at the organisation, said: "Thanks to the huge efforts of NHS staff, significant progress has been made in reducing the number of people facing waits of two years or more for planned hospital treatment, but the overall waiting list has continued to grow, and the number of people waiting more than a year is also rising."

Despite the fall in extremely long waits, the latest available data shows 332,000 patients across England had been on treatment waiting lists for longer than a year as of May, including 576 at SFH.

Nationally, this was an increase of 21,000 from December.

As of May, 42,571 people were waiting to be treated at SFH, with a record 6.6 million people waiting across England as a whole.