Patients waiting over 18 weeks for referral to treatment lowest ever

The number of patients waiting over 18 weeks from their GP referral to treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been more than halved in a year and is now at the lowest level ever.

At the end of May 2012, 533 patients were waiting over 18 weeks for treatment after seeing their GP, which is the maximum waiting time permitted by the NHS. That figure has been reduced by almost two thirds and of the 5078 patients currently waiting for treatment, only 185 are waiting over 18 weeks.

Anna Dugdale, Chief Executive at NNUH said: “This is a testament to the hard work of our administrative, clinical and management teams, who together, have made this possible. With the agreement of our commissioners we have been booking in longest waiters first, because we believe it’s the right thing to do for our patients.

“This is a remarkable achievement, even more so given the challenges presented by a huge surge in emergency admissions between mid-February and mid-April. We have never before had less than 300 people waiting over 18 weeks so this is an enormous milestone for us, but we are not complacent.

“Waiting for treatment can be a worrying time for patients and we intend to build on this achievement and bring these numbers down ever further so that our patients receive the best quality treatment as quickly as possible.”

Professor Ken Hobbs, lead Governor for the Trust, said: “The Governors were fully behind the brave decision of the Trust Board, who, with the support of local CCGs have put local patients first and achieved record waiting times for treatment.”

Jonathon Fagge, Chief Executive of NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “All of us want to see patients treated sooner, so we are very pleased so see the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital fall so significantly. It is entirely right that those waiting the longest time receive their treatment first.

“We would add our thanks to staff and management for improving care for patients – at a time when health services are under such considerable pressure.”

Notes for editors

Patients with urgent conditions and cancer are treated more quickly. Patients referred by their GP with a suspicion of cancer are seen within 14 days of referral and if cancer is confirmed, their first treatment is within 31 days.

At the NNUH we typically operate on 100 – 150 patients a day.

Wednesday 3rd of July 2013 08:00:18 AM