Hundreds wait four months for hospital appointment

PATIENTS have been waiting longer for hospital treatment in London’s deprived East End than anywhere else in the country, it has emerged this week. Hundreds have been in the queue for up to four months for their first out-patient’s examination

By Gemma Collins

PATIENTS have been waiting longer for hospital treatment in London’s deprived East End than anywhere else in the country, it has emerged this week.

Hundreds have been in the queue for up to four months for their first out-patient’s examination, the East London Advertiser has learned.

The worst delays in the country have been logged by the Barts & the London NHS Trust which runs the huge Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and Bart’s in the City.

More than 800 patients were still waiting beyond the Government’s 13-week target for an appointment, while 675 of these had to wait nearly four months to be seen.


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BACKLOG

The figures which emerged at last month’s trust board meeting were so high that the backlog in March was bigger than all the NHS trusts in the rest of the country put together.

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A trust spokesman said this week: “We reported in March an unfortunate and significant number of breaches of the 13-week waiting time and sought advice from the Department of Health.

“We reported 834 breaches of this target and have since contacted those patients to ensure anyone still wanting to be seen was given an appointment during May and June.”

The trust, which also runs the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green, insists there was “no evidence any patient has been harmed by waiting longer” than 13 weeks. By May, this had been brought down to just 10 facing delays.

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