King's Mill bosses 'sorry' for treatment delays as staff work to reduce waiting times

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust in March, figures show.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 6:00 am

The Society for Acute Medicine said the latest data shows pressure on the NHS nationally is ‘unsustainable’ and needs urgent action from the Government.

NHS England figures show 39,381 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at SFH, which runs Sutton’s King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals, at the end of March, up from 38,777 in February, and 37,602 in March 2021.

Of those, 613, 2 per cent, had been waiting for longer than a year. Nationally, the average is 5.8 per cent.

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King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

The median waiting time from referral to treatment at SFH was nine weeks at the end of March, down from 10 weeks in February, against the national average of 11 weeks.

Maggie McManus, SFH deputy chief operating officer, said: “Thanks to the hard-working teams across our hospitals, waiting times are now below the level they were a year ago, even though demand is extremely high.

“However, many people are waiting longer than we would like for treatment and diagnostic tests. We are sorry for this and doing everything we can to see them as soon as possible.”

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Nationally, 6.4 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of March, the highest since records began in 2007.

At SFH, 13,286 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan or gastroscopy at this time – 3,949, or 30 per cent, had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Dr Tim Cooksley, SAM president, said: “The latest data shows the new ‘normal’ is at an unacceptably poor level for patients and staff.

“Pressures are at unsustainable levels and, at months where NHS teams hope for a quieter period, worse performance and standards are dominating the horizon.”

Other figures from NHS England show that of 94 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at SFH in March, 64 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

A month previously, when 93 patients were referred, 53 were treated within 62 days.

In March 2021, 66 patients were treated within this period, out of 96 that were referred.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it has provided a record £36 billion over the next three years for the NHS and social care, and launched a plan to tackle the Covid backlog.