RTT: The Highest Risk Organisations: October 2014
It’s been an interesting month around RTT and NHS waiting lists.
Long waits for patients have got worse, despite the Secretary of State’s promise they would get better. The initiative to treat the longest waiting patients announced in the summer has now been extended until November, which, looking at the figures this month means that the NHS will fail to deliver.
We have also had two NHS Trusts who were failing to report their figures return to the fold – although that now puts them firmly at the top of the highest risk list, it is still good to have them back as everyone needs to be reporting.
So what is going on? Well, the overall waiting list has again risen, which we have been warning about in all our recent posts. The total waiting list is now “just under 3.3 million patients” according to the Department of Health. The reason for the vagueness is that we still have 6 NHS Trusts failing to report:
- Barnet and Chase Farm
- Barking, Havering and Redbridge
- Heart of England
- Royal Berkshire
- The Princess Alexandra
In addition to this growth, the number of patients over 18 weeks is also growing. This means that the government target of no more than 92% of patients on a waiting list being over 18 weeks is looking increasingly difficult to achieve – a stark contrast to what the Secretary of State promised. In short, efforts to treat the long-waiting patients are being outstripped by the numbers of patients being added to the list.
Given the NHS being the hottest topic at the recent party conferences this is far from ideal for the coalition government going into the election, and begs the question as to why the Secretary of State would have allowed himself to be backed into this corner by issuing promises in the summer despite the fact that we were warning it was not achievable.
All in all, the picture is bad for the government and likely to worsen – the numbers this month suggest that the 92% target will begin to fail around November.
As usual our Trust rankings are compiled through statistical analysis of past and current performance to give organisations a risk-adjusted ranking and whether their performance is getting worse or better.
Again, we have looked at organisations in three ways:
- The Shelford Group: the self-styled “leading group of hospitals” in the NHS;
- Foundation Trusts: hospitals that have earned the right to more freedom from government policy;
- Non-Foundation Trusts: all the rest of the hospitals.
The highlights this month are:
- The two new reporters – Barts and Walsall have gone straight in at numbers and 1 and 2 respectively.
- Foundation Trusts still account for a higher percentage of patients over 18 weeks than non-Foundation Trusts.
- Shelford Group performance remains particularly challenged.
Why not have a look and see where your local Trust comes in our league table. You can download the list for free HERE