Barking, Havering and Redbridge hospital trust hits national patient target for first time in three years

A doctor walking down a hospital ward. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

A doctor walking down a hospital ward. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A hospital trust that worked hard to come out of special measures, has hit a national patient target for the first time in three years.

Data shows the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) hit the 92pc referral to treatment (RTT) target in June.

This means just 8pc of patients waited longer than 18 weeks between seeing their GP and having follow-up treatment at hospital.

“This milestone marks a fantastic achievement for all our staff who have worked tirelessly,” Sarah Tedford, BHRUT chief operating officer said.

“The situation we found ourselves in at the beginning of 2014 was unacceptable, and so we have been tackling this issue as a top priority.”

In December 2013 a database migration uncovered a significant discrepancy between the trust’s then current performance and historical achievement.

It showed that the trust’s performance was not as compliant with national RTT standards, as previously thought.

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At that time, more than 1,000 patients had been waiting for longer than a year for treatment.

According to a BHRUT spokesman the few that are left typically waiting longer, is by personal choice.

The figure has now been reduced as a result of the combined efforts of the trust, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and GPs.

Chair of Havering CCG, Dr Atul Aggarwal, said: “The work, delivered jointly by the Trust and CCGs, on tackling the backlog of patients waiting too long for an appointment in our area, is a real testament to the success of genuine partnership working.”

In 2016 the trust had a waiting list of 54,000 patients.

The spokesman added that during the last 18 months, the list has been cut by 20,000 patients, to a more manageable level.

NHS Improvement’s regional managing director for London, Steve Russell added: “Patients will now benefit from being seen within the national waiting time standards after many years.

“This is an important achievement and is another major milestone for the trust and is testament to the hard work of their staff.”

Since March, the trust has kept up its positive momentum after a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced it was no longer in special measures following “significant improvements”.

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