NHS bosses raise new concern over Doncaster hospital waiting lists

Health bosses have ordered an action plan over concerns about a rise in waiting times for patients at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

By David Kessen
Friday, 11th October 2019, 9:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:34 am

The Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (DCCG) has ordered the action because of the rise in patients waiting more than 18 week for non emergency treatment at the hospital.

A similar action plan was ordered last year to look at waiting times for cancer treatment.

Under NHS targets, 92 per cent of patients should start non-emergency treatment inside 18 weeks – but most recent figures showed that had decreased to 85.7 per cent in Doncaster.

The A&E department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Officials documents produced by the commissioning group stated the wait from referral to the start of treatment had deteriorated over the last two years, with ‘two clear stages of continual deterioration’.

A total of 13 specialties are failing to meet the 92 per cent standard, with rheumatology showing the lowest figure, with 76.7 per cent.

The others are cardiology (85.5); ear, nose and throat (81.8); general medicine (77.9); general surgery (85.5); geriatric medicine (88.7); neurology (91.6); neurosurgery (90.6); ophthalmology (86.6); thoracic medicine (89.4); trauma and orthopaedics; (85.1); urology (83.3); and others (91.5).

It states: “DCCG have requested a formal recovery plan including the required activity for the Trust to achieve the 92 per cent target.”

After discussions, officials are looking to turn things around by March.

The reported added: “Over the last 12 months we have seen a downward trend in performance. Nationally, latest comparison figures (taken from July 2019) show we are currently performing 0.9 per cent above the national average (85.78 per cent) but below the performance of acute hospital peers within South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS). The Trust is under considerable scrutiny from the ICS.”

The figure for the number of Doncaster Clinical Commissionioning Group patients on the referral to treatment waiting list had increased in August 2019 by 374 patients to 24,115, it stated.

Rebecca Joyce, chief operating officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, which runs the DRI, said a plan had now been developed to turn things around.

She said: “The trust has developed plans which focus on increasing outpatient, diagnostic and theatre capacity to help improve waiting times for our patients.

“These plans include the provision of additional clinics and operating lists, supported by the recent recruitment of new staff in a number of specialties. The trust is also working with local GP practices and its partner organisations across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to redesign patient pathways to improve care and reduce waiting times for patients.

“Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that care is provided to our patients in a safe and timely manner and we are confident of delivering the national standard of 92 per cent of patients to be treated within 18 weeks following GP referral by March 2020.”

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