Analysis: Highest number of patients waiting a year for treatment since 2008

The number of patients waiting more than a year to be treated on an elective pathway has more than doubled year on year, the latest NHS data shows.

Patients admitted on a pathway governed by the 18 week referral to treatment time standard increased from 1,619 in the first four months of 2016-17 to 4,017 in the same period this year.

Imperial saw a sharp increase in patients waiting more than 52 weeks for elective treatment

The figure does not include patients who were treated after more than a year’s wait who were not admitted or NHS patients treated by the independent sector.

The performance is the worst for this measure since 2008.

Almost half the difference year on year came from increases at 10 trusts, which saw sharp increases in the number of patients waiting more than 52 weeks.

The other half is accounted for by the difference in trusts that did not report their waiting times figures last year but have returned to reporting this year.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust has treated 585 admitted patients who waited more than a year so far in 2017-18. Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust has treated 438.

Of the three main waiting times performance measures for acute trusts, elective care is considered less important than meeting emergency care or cancer targets.

HSJ has reported on a number recent scandals in the acute sector, in which patients, including children, have come to harm as a result of poor waiting list management for elective procedures.

Full story in The HSJ, 25 September 2017