King’s Mill Hospital bosses apologise for long treatment waits – and pledge to see patients as soon as possible

Patients were waiting an average of 10 weeks for routine treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust in February, figures show.

By Patrick Jack
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 12:42 pm

NHS England figures show the median waiting time for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at SFH, which runs Sutton’s King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals, was 10 weeks at the end of February, the same as in January.

However, this was shorter than the average 13-week wait a year previously.

There were 38,777 patients on the waiting list in February – down slightly from 38,990 in January, but an increase on 36,894 in February 2021.

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

Of those, 622 had been waiting for longer than one year.

Simon Barton, trust chief operating officer, said: “Thanks to hard-working teams across our hospitals, waiting times are now below the level they were a year ago, even though we are still dealing with high levels of Covid-19 cases and demand on our services is high.

“Many people, however, are waiting longer than we would like for treatment and diagnostic tests and we are sorry for this and would like to reassure them we are doing all we can to see them as soon as possible.”

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Nationally, 6.2 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of February, up from 6.1m in January and the highest number since records began in August 2007.

At Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, 12,247 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy in February.

Of them, 3,372, 28 per cent, had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Other figures from NHS England show that of 93 patients urgently referred at SFH in February, 53 received cancer treatment within two months.

A month previously, when 93 patients were referred, 49 were treated within 62 days.

In February 2021, 51 patients were treated within this period, out of 71 that were referred.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director, said: “Nobody should be under any illusion about how tough a job NHS staff have on their hands, balancing competing priorities and maintaining high quality patient care.

“Despite pressure on various fronts and the busiest winter ever for the NHS, long waits fell as staff continue to tackle two-year waits by July thanks to the innovative approaches to care they are now adopting.”