Coordination of waiting lists and elective treatment across health systems and regions should be ‘far more systematic’, and could have happened earlier, chief executives of some of the hardest hit trusts have told HSJ.
In interviews for the HSJ Health Check podcast, the CEOs of King’s, Croydon, Chester and Sandwell and West Birmingham hospital trusts spoke about their experience in the pandemic and what could be learned from it.
These included the need for faster decision making; resources for deprived and diverse areas, which are often hardest hit; the need for basic staff facilities such as parking and eating areas for staff; longer-term attention to the wellbeing of staff who were most affected; and to give time for trusts to recover.
On elective care, the CEOs highlighted how the length of lists and waits, and the NHS’s ability to keep up, are now much worse in some areas than others. Some of those with the longest waits and lists at present – such as Countess of Chester and Birmingham – were also heavily hit by Covid; for others this is not the case.
There were moves, particularly later in the pandemic, for patients who were on the elective waiting list of one trust to be treated at another, for example if they needed urgent treatment and faced harm if delayed, while other hospitals were still able to treat less urgent cases. Combining lists, often known as “shared patient tracking (or treatment) lists”, could also mean capacity being managed more efficiently across providers.
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Source: HSJ, 10 June 2022