Hospitals to see hundreds of patients in 'super clinics' amid Covid backlog

Queen's and King George Hospital are both run by the trust. Picture credit: Archant.

Hundreds of patients will be given appointments in "super-clinics" at King George  and Queen’s hospital - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of patients will be given appointments in "super-clinics" at King George  and Queen’s hospital in a bid to clear huge waiting lists. 

The number of people waiting more than four and a half months for elective operations or treatment at the two hospitals, according to NHS data, was more than 22,000 at the end of last June and 1,200 by December. 

Now the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) is holding “super-clinics” where hundreds of patients can be seen over the course of a day or a week.

This comes after a British Medical Association survey reveals 49.2pc of doctors in London fear it will take more than a year to clear the backlog of elective care after the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Redbridge patient Anna-Maria Everett, 57, finally saw a neurosurgeon about her two herniated discs after a ten-month wait.

She was one of 119 patients to attend a one-day spinal review clinic on June 12, helping to prepare patients for surgery.

 She said: “Everyone was amazing and it was fantastic that it was a one-stop-shop as it means I don’t have to wait again. It was well worth it.

“It has been frustrating having to wait during the pandemic, however, everyone is in the same boat and the NHS has been under so much pressure. I have so much respect for how hard they are working.”

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The trust’s neurosurgery team receives around 200 referrals a week, of which more than three quarters require treatment by a specialist surgeon.

Next month, BHRUT plans to hold a “super surgery” weekend.

Consultant neurosurgeon Ahmed Sadek said the trust hoped to be able to use the “one-stop-shop” strategy “to help maintain reduced waiting times for years to come”.

On Monday (June 21), the trust launched a week-long Bones R Us drive, focusing on orthopaedic procedures, with doctors performing 11 operations on the first day.

A similar project held in October last year saw 250 patients receive operations over the course of a week.