November 25, 2019 10.11 am This story is over 52 months old

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust missing targets for half a decade

Bosses say they are treating more patients than ever before

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has been missing targets on A&E waiting and cancer treatment times for more than half a decade.

Bosses have apologised, saying they are not “performing as well as we should be” but say increased demand is taking its toll.

The last time ULHT achieved 95% of patients being treated within four hours of arrival at A&E was September 2014, the same month it surpassed the 85% target to start cancer treatment within 62 days of urgent GP referral.

Earlier this month it was reported that in October Lincoln County Hospital could only treat 64.2% of its patients within four hours. The England average was 83.6%.

Chief Operating Officer Mark Brassington said: “Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people attending our hospitals.

“We are seeing more patients than ever before coming through our three emergency departments, accessing cancer treatments and being referred for planned surgery.”

Figures from NHS England show how, in quarter two of this year, ULHT managed to get 81.78% of its patients seen for cancer treatment within 62 days – however, this is still short of the 85% target.

Between July and September, the trust treated 220 people, with 180 of those hitting the target.

Nationally, just 83.6% of patients were seen within the target.

“Compared to five years ago, we are seeing 130 more patients every week who are on a two week wait outpatient pathway – that’s an increase of 35%,” said Mr Brassington.

“We also have 28% more patients on a 62 day cancer pathway,” he continued.

ULHT chief operating officer Mark Brassington. Photo: Lincolnshire Reporter

“Despite these increases we are treating 200 more patients within the 62 day standard than we did five years ago.”

The trust has also struggled with achieving 92% of patients having planned operations and care within 18 weeks of referral.

The last time it succeeded was June 2016 – the England average  passed the test in February of that year.

In September, 75% of patients were seen within the allotted period.

The average for England was 84.8%.

Mr Brassington said: “Although we are treating more people, we accept that we are not performing as well as we should be and some of our patients wait longer than they should to access some treatments, for which we apologise.

“We are not alone in seeing such significant growth in demand, and we are working with partner health and social care organisations to ensure our patients receive the appropriate and best possible care as soon as possible across all of our specialties.”

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