Saturday, 17 January 2015

Major NHS trust cancels most elective surgeries in England and last week's A&E waiting times are worse than New Year's Eve

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust cancelled 93 elective operations last week as figures reached their highest across England this winter.

Nearly 100 elective operations were cancelled last week at Imperial NHS's four hospitals

An NHS trust running four major west London hospitals is in the bad books again after it cancelled the most amount of elective operations in the whole of England and missed treatment start time targets.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust cancelled 93 elective operations last week (January 5-11) - the highest of any hospital trust in England.
The trust runs St Mary’s in Paddington, Charing Cross in Hammersmith, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea in White City.
Imperial is one of the biggest acute NHS trusts in England, carrying out an average of 700 operations a week.
A spokeswoman, said: “We make every effort to ensure operations and treatments are carried out on schedule. However, winter can be a very busy time in our hospitals. When we experience a high demand on our services, or when a patient who requires emergency care takes priority, we may need to delay or reschedule some procedures.”
She added that a number of last week’s procedures were postponed due to patients not being well enough for surgery and some were cancelled by patients who may want the surgery at a different time.
The latest figures from NHS England show across the country the number of operations being cancelled reached its highest level this winter, but at last emergency care saw an improvement in waiting times, with 89.9 per cent being seen in time last week, up from 86.7 per cent the week before.
However, for Imperial, A&E waiting times were below the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours, with 77.8 per cent of the most serious ‘type 1’ patients being seen in that time - 0.3 per cent less than the week before, which included New Year’s Eve.
In other bad news for Imperial, the latest figures released about patients waiting for treatment following a referral, show in November Imperial kept 81.5 per cent of admitted patients waiting more than the target 18 weeks to start treatment - the worst figures in west London.
The target is for 90 per cent of admitted patients to start treatment within 18 weeks of referral, but it was not just Imperial who could not reach that target.
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust - which runs Ealing, Northwick Park and St Mark’s and Central Middlesex Hospitals - only started 83.8 per cent of patients’ treatments in time and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust started 84 per cent.
The England average for November was 87.5 per cent and the target was missed six weeks in a row, with the proportion of people being seen in time at its lowest levels since April 2008.
Imperial said a performance dip was expected in October and November as a national plan meant they focused on treating as may patients as possible who have waited longer than others, instead of in chronological order.
A spokeswoman said: “The trust has an action plan in place to recover our performance, including resolving technical issues with our new patient administrative system which have prevented us from reporting an accurate position, providing training to support staff in their use of the new system and having a team of validators to assist with the correction of data.
“We anticipate that in the fourth quarter, our referral to treatments standards will be achieved.”

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