Huge rise in number of patients waiting more than a year for treatment at Queen’s and King George hospitals
- Credit: Ken Mears
In seven months, Romford’s Queen’s Hospital and King George in Goodmayes have gone from having 25 people waiting in excess of a year for treatment to 1,254.
The July figure of 1,254 (the most recent available) is up from 260 in April and 102 in March.
January and February had just 25 and 39 respectively.
The huge increase has occurred nationally and other trusts have seen even more stark contrasts: Manchester University Trust had just two in February and now has upwards of 3,000.
In January, the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT) had 75.6 per cent of patients receiving treatment in four months, better than the national average of 83.5pc.
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In June, that figure had gone down to 48.3pc for BHRUT and 52pc as the national average.
The trust’s chief medical officer Magda Smith said: “As with the rest of the NHS, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our waiting lists.
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“Our ability to reduce them will continue to be affected while we must follow even stricter infection prevention and control guidelines as we work to reintroduce our services safely.
“Getting our patients the care they need is one of our highest priorities, and we must ensure we prioritise according to clinical need.
“We’re working hard to ensure we can see more patients in our Outpatients’ department, and carry out more procedures in our theatres, while keeping our staff and patients safe.
“We’re working with our partners across the whole of north east London, seeing where we can use our combined capacity to reduce waiting lists.
“We’re also continuing to work with the independent sector, which was how we ensured our cancer patients got the care they needed safely during the peak of the pandemic.”
She said that trust has also introduced a temporary surgical hub at King George Hospital, which will help to boost the amount of planned surgery that can be carried out.
Ms Smith added: “These steps have already seen our waiting lists reduce by 500 patients, which is expected to see our performance improve by around four per cent to 48 per cent from July to August.”