Tens of thousands of patients waiting for routine treatment at King’s Mill

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at Sutton’s King’s Mill Hospital in April, figures show.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:24 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:24 am

The Society for Acute Medicine said the current picture across the NHS in England – where 6.5 million people are waiting to start treatment – is ‘unacceptable and unsustainable’ for patients and staff.

NHS England figures show 40,995 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals, at the end of April – up from 39,381 in March, and 37,406 in April 2021.

Of those, 596, or 1 per cent, had been waiting for longer than a year.

King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust was 10 weeks at the end of April – up from nine weeks in March.

Maggie McManus, SFH acting chief operating officer, said: “We are working hard to reduce the length of time that our patients wait and while we currently have some of the lowest number of patients waiting long periods in the NHS, we are committed to improve this further.

“I would like to thank all SFH colleagues and our health and social care partners for their commitment to delivering quality care to our patients as quickly as possible.”

Nationally, 6.5 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of April.

Dr Tim Cooksley, SAM president, said: “The current experience for patients with long waits for both emergency and elective care is intolerable and this is causing significant morale injury to clinical and operational staff in NHS and social care who wish to provide high quality care for patients.

“The current situation is unacceptable and unsustainable for patients and staff.

“It is essential the Government urgently commits itself to the long-term solutions.”

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Some 12,735 people were waiting more than two years for hospital treatment at the end of April – nearly five times the number waiting in April last year, but down from a record 23,778 in January.

The Government has set the ambition to eliminate all waits of more than two years, except when it is the patient’s choice, by July of this year.

Separate figures show 1.5 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in April – a fall from 1.6 million in March.

At SFH, 12,645 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan or gastroscopy at this time, with 4,469, 35 per cent, waiting for at least six weeks.

Other NHS England figures show, of 88 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at SFH in April, 61 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

A month previously – when 94 patients were referred – 64 were treated within 62 days.

In April 2021, 53 patients were treated within this period, out of 72 that were referred.

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said the NHS still faces pressures, but said: “Hard-working NHS staff are making significant progress in ensuring people waiting the longest time for care are getting treated.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said it is tackling the Covid backlog and rising demand for the NHS with record investment.