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English NHS breaches 52 weeks

The NHS in England is required by legislation to ensure that at least 92 per cent of patients on the waiting list have been waiting no longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment. At the end of February, following a year of covid restrictions, that waiting time measure exceeded 52 weeks.

How much longer than 52 weeks? We don’t know, because the data stops at “52 plus”. But there is good news, because this is about to change.

Guidance was issued during March requiring two major improvements to the published RTT data.

Firstly, instead of stopping at 52 weeks plus, the weekly waiting time cohorts will continue up to 104 weeks plus.

Secondly, we are going to get a lot more information about mental health and other RTT waiting times, because the catch-all “Other” specialty is going to be broken down into medical, surgical, mental health, paediatric and the rest.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 16 April 2021


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