At the end of July 2019, 85.8% of patients waiting to start treatment (incomplete pathways) were waiting up to 18 weeks, thus not meeting the 92% standard.
The number of RTT patients waiting to start treatment at the end of July 2019 was 4.4 million patients. Of those, 1,032 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks.
For patients waiting to start treatment at the end of July 2019, the median waiting time was 7.3 weeks. The 92nd percentile waiting time was 22.7 weeks.
During July 2019, 314,280 RTT patients started admitted treatment and 1,179,146 started non-admitted treatment (completed pathways).
July National Provider Data Summary
The following 3 Trusts did not submit any RTT pathway data:
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (RQ8)
North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (RGN)
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust (RAL)
As the below heatmap and graph shows, there has been a substantial deterioration in RTT performance nationally when compared to July 2018.
Waiting List Size
As the below graph demonstrates, from July 2018 to July 2019 the total waiting list size increased from 4,124,657 to 4,372,568, an increase of 247,911 (6.01%).
Below is a table showing each reporting Trusts variance in waiting list size from March 2019 to July 2019, sorted by percentage variance (please click to view the whole table).
52 Week Waiters
The below heatmap shows how the number of 52-week waiters has changed nationally, with areas such as the East Midlands and South managing to reduce their number of 52-week waiters.
Below is a table showing each reporting Trust’s variance in 52-week waiters from March 2019 to July 2019, sorted by percentage variance (please click to view the whole table).
Changes to the Individual Specialties
In regard to the waiting list size of the individual specialties:
Other remains to be the speciality with the largest decrease in the waiting list size, going from 925,459 to 919,355 a decrease of 6,104 pathways (0.65%).
Urology unlike previous months also saw a large decrease in the waiting list size going from 240,774 to 235,197 a decrease of 5,577 pathways (2.31%).
Trauma & Orthopaedics and Neurology both saw a high increase of the waiting list size with Trauma & Orthopaedics going from 510,460 to 511,697, an increase of 1,237 pathways (0.24%) and Neurology going from 136,629 to 137,692, an increase of 1,063 pathways (0.77%).
Again Dermatology, as a single specialty saw the largest increase and percentage increase in waiting list size, going from 220,661 to 227,853 with a percentage increase of 3.25%.
The long term trend continues this month, the causes of which have been long debated over many months. With no apparent end in sight – new standards won’t change the NHS’s ultimate performance against the 18 week guarantee – it is perhaps worth looking to those exemplar Trusts who are maintaining their position ahead of the 92% standard. Source Group had the pleasure of meeting with a major teaching hospital this week who are yet to dip below 92%. Sadly, this is increasingly the exception rather than the norm, but there surely must be learning opportunities there.
Whilst the pervading trend in performance shouldn’t be ignored, we should recognise the Trusts who are achieving, acknowledge the tremendous work they have done and look to them for inspiration for a collective turnaround in 18 week performance