Hundreds more patients join treatment waiting list at King's Mill Hospital

Hundreds more patients were added to the waiting list for routine treatment at King’s Mill Hospital in December, figures show.

By Federica Bedendo
Saturday, 12th February 2022, 10:36 am
Updated Monday, 14th February 2022, 3:10 pm

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has set out plans to help the NHS recover from Covid-19, as the number of people on waiting lists reached record levels nationally – but he has said they will continue to rise for another two years.

NHS England figures show 38,616 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Sutton’s King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals – t at the end of December, up from 38,138 the month before.

December's figure was also 6 per cent more than a year earlier, when there were 36,325 patients on the waiting list.

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King's Mill Hospital, Sutton, and, inset, Simon Barton, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust chief operating officer.

The median waiting time from referral to treatment was 10 weeks in December, compared with 12 weeks a year earlier.

The median – the middle number in a series – is used to ensure the figures are not skewed by extreme highs or lows.

It meant 72 per cent of patients started treatment within the NHS’s target time of 18 weeks – slightly lower than last month, when 73 per cent of patients began treatment on time.

Simon Barton, trust chief operating officer, said: “During earlier stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with national guidance, we postponed some planned activity to focus on the increase in people coming into our hospitals who were seriously ill with Covid-19.

“We prioritised emergency operations and cancer care, but unfortunately some patients have faced delays for other treatments, and we are sorry about this.

“Since that initial wave, SFH continues to work hard to manage waiting times and our patient treatment activity has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“Even in the past three months and, despite the most recent Omicron wave when we experienced another sharp surge in hospital admissions, we were able to maintain our planned activity at pre-pandemic levels of activity and I would like to thank the remarkable efforts of all the teams across Sherwood Forest and our wider health and social care partners for their continuing commitment to delivering care to all our patients as quickly as possible.

“We currently have some of the lowest number of patients waiting long periods in the NHS and are committed over the next year to increasing our activity further to bring waiting times down.”

Across England, 6.07 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of December – up from 6m in November and the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Of them, 311,000 had been waiting longer than a year – 39 per cent more than in December 2020.

The Government and NHS England have set an ambition of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025.

Measures announced by the Government include prioritising diagnosis and treatment, increasing activity through dedicated surgical hubs, and hiring 15,000 more care workers by the end of March.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the plan was the ‘biggest catch-up programme in the history of the health service backed by unprecedented funding’.

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