Hospital bosses 'sorry' for long wait for treatment at King’s Mill and Mansfield hospitals

More patients joined the waiting list for routine treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust in September, figures show.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 2:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 2:34 pm

The King's Fund health think tank warned the NHS is ‘on its knees’, as the number of people waiting to start treatment across England reached another record high.

NHS England figures show 38,623 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Mansfield Community, Newark and Sutton’s King’s Mill hospitals – at the end of September, up from 37,834 at the end of August.

This was also 11 per cent more than in September 2020, when there were 34,692 patients on the waiting list.

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King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

The median waiting time from referral to treatment was 10 weeks in September, compared with 10 weeks a year previously.

Nationally, 5.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September – the highest number since records began in August 2007, and the 12th successive record high.

Of them, 12,491 had been waiting longer than two years – more than four times the 2,722 patients waiting this long in April.

Deborah Ward, fund senior analyst, said: “Today’s stats reveal the worst performance since current records began for ambulance calls, A&Es and waits for planned hospital care.

Helen Hendley, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust deputy chief operating officer.

“In a normal year, any one of these would ring alarm bells; taken together before winter has even begun, they suggest a health system running hot for such a sustained period while still dealing with Covid-19, it is now on its knees.”

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Separate figures show 1.4 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in September – the highest number since records began in January 2006.

At SFH, 10,554 patients were waiting for one of 15 standard tests, such as a scan, ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 2,113, or 20 per cent, had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Helen Hendley, trust deputy chief operating officer, said: “Like all NHS providers, our waiting lists have inevitably grown over the course of the pandemic and it will take some time for them to reduce.

“We know how worrying and frustrating this can be for our patients and are sorry they have had to wait longer than we would have liked.

“We have a robust winter plan in place which ensures we will continue to see and treat elective patients and carry out diagnostic tests throughout winter. Part of the plan includes maximising the potential of all three hospital sites.

“It’s our aim to ensure patients get the right treatment, in a timely manner and are cared for in a way we would want for any members of our own family.

“Despite being very busy, we also continue to deliver good performance for our ambulance hand-over times and wait times in our emergency and urgent care departments.

“This year we have expanded our same-day emergency care unit at King’s Mill, which enables us to treat patients who can then return home rather than be admitted to a hospital bed.

“Since earlier this year, the service has doubled the number of patients treated, which has helped us manage our capacity for those that need it the most.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to treat our patients in a timely and safe way.”

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