Exclusive: Third trust reveals large neurology backlog

A trust in the East of England has become the latest to reveal it has hundreds of neurology patients overdue follow up appointments due to a lack of capacity.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has confirmed to HSJ that last week it had 610 patients who are overdue their follow up neurology appointments.

The trust said it was forced to close the neurology service to all new referrals in December 2016, as it did not have the capacity to keep up with demand. The capacity problems are understood to be related to a workforce shortage.

The number of overdue follow up appointments at the end of August was down from 838 in December.

HSJ has previously reported that Burton Hospitals FT had 1002 patients overdue a follow up neurology appointment, while Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust reported it had 369.

United Lincolnshire said since December it has reduced new referrals to a “manageable level” and is now “focusing on the backlog of follow ups.”

In a letter sent to GPs in March 2017, seen by HSJ, the trust said it “has faced significant capacity concerns which has led to excessive waiting times for both new and follow-up [neurology] patients.”

Full story in the HSJ, 4 September 2017