Hundreds of people waited more than a year to be admitted at Mansfield and King's Mill hospitals
Bosses at Mansfield and Sutton’s hospitals have apologised after hundreds of people were left waiting more than a year for treatment.
Waiting times have increased while hospitals deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Now charities have called on the NHS to do more to support patients awaiting treatment while health services work ‘flat out’ to reduce waiting lists made lengthier by the impact of the pandemic.
NHS Digital statistics show about 415 patients needing non-emergency care at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs Mansfield Community and Sutton’s King’s Mill hospitals – had waited more than a year to be checked into hospital in the year to March following the initial decision to admit them.
Of those, 120 waited more than 18 months.
Simon Barton, trust chief operating officer, said: “While we have continued to treat patients throughout the pandemic, understandably some patients have been waiting longer than we would normally like for treatment and we’re sorry for this.
“It’s important patients have an idea of timescales when they’re waiting for treatment – that’s why we recently wrote to patients on our waiting list giving them the average waiting time for their speciality.
“We included a link to relevant advice to ensure they are fit for treatment and asked them to contact us if their condition had changed, initiating a clinic review if required.
“We are doing everything we can to reduce waiting times as quickly as possible, including opening new testing facilities so we can conduct 5,000 additional endoscopy and CT tests by the end of March.
“If appropriate, we may also discuss with patients the opportunity to be treated at one of our other sites, or a different provider, so they can be treated quicker.”
Nationally, more than 95,000 patients admitted for non-urgent treatment across England in 2020-21 had been waiting for more than a year, up from about 42,000 the year before.
An NHS spokeswoman said caring for 450,000 Covid-19 patients in hospital had an inevitable impact on the service’s ability to deliver care for less urgent conditions.
She said patients awaiting treatment had been reviewed by clinicians and were supported while on the waiting list, adding: “NHS services have continued to be available for patients who needed them and staff are working flat out to get services back to pre-Covid levels.”