We’re delighted to announce that we’ve hit the 92 per cent Referral to Treatment (RTT) standard for the first time in three years.
This result (for June 2017) shows that we’re continuing to improve on how quickly we’re seeing and treating patients.
Hitting this standard marks a significant milestone in what has been a major turnaround for us.
We’ve been through a major recovery programme, delivered in partnership with our local CCGs, which has treated a huge number of patients.
In December 2013, a database migration uncovered a significant discrepancy between current and historical performance, showing that we were not compliant with national RTT standards, as was previously thought.
At that time, there were over 1,000 patients who’d been waiting more than a year. This number has now been reduced to around single figures, with those left typically waiting by personal choice.
The early 2016 validation process confirmed a waiting list of 54,000 patients. In the last 18 months, that waiting list has been cut by 20,000 patients, down to a more manageable level, and now, hitting the national target.
Over the past three years, our teams have been working exceptionally hard to keep reducing the waiting times and get patients seen and treated. We’ve worked very closely with key partners and specialists, particularly our local CCGs and GPs, to tackle the waiting list, and manage demand.
We’ve delivered thousands of extra clinics, with nearly 100,000 outpatient appointments having been provided; as well as significant increases in diagnostic and investigative procedures, such as MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds and endoscopies; and delivering higher numbers of operations and surgical procedures.
A substantial clinical harm review has been run alongside the recovery plan, reviewing thousands of patients, particularly those who had waited more than a year, which has indicated so far that no patient has come to harm.
Sarah Tedford, our Chief Operating Officer, said: “This milestone marks a fantastic achievement for all our staff who have worked tirelessly.
“I would also like to thank key partners, particularly our CCGs and our local GPs, as well as our patients, for their understanding and patience. This has been a really successful example of how strong partnerships can deliver fantastic results.
“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.
“Many of the elements of the recovery plan we have implemented have been considered cutting edge in this area of work, and it has been pleasing to be acknowledged and recognised for our innovation and effort, as we know this is a challenge across the NHS.
“We know we will have to continue to keep working hard. We continue to see significant demand, so we will keep doing our best to maintain the high standards we’ve been setting.”
Dr Atul Aggarwal, Chair of Havering CCG, on behalf of the BHR CCGs, 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.
“With the direction of the NHS and social care very much towards ever greater integration and the dissolving of the traditional commissioner/provider split, it is crucial that we can demonstrate real benefits for the public through this approach. The success of our local RTT recovery plan and meeting the standard does just that.
“For some time now local partners have been working jointly to more effectively collaborate and have made further improvements this year on our common performance and financial challenge as we progress our plans for a BHR accountable care system.”
Steve Russell, Executive Regional Managing Director (London), NHS Improvement, said: “This is an important achievement and is another major milestone for the Trust. It is testament to the hard work of their staff."