NHS launches ‘Super September’ to clear backlogs in time for winter

Patients in England are having to wait longer for routine check-ups as NHS bosses are telling hospitals to see those who haven’t yet had their first appointment to help clear backlogs.

The plan, dubbed “Super September” by health chiefs, sees those who have queued the longest get priority for appointments over those waiting for routine second consultations.

Medical professionals have previously branded the checkups, which account for two-thirds of all appointments in the NHS each month, as a waste of time and have called for patients to only be seen again when there are concerns.

It comes as NHS England today claimed to have “virtually removed” from the waiting list all patients who had been queuing for scans, checks and surgeries for two years or more.

More than 24,000 24-month waiters queued in January, but the number is now around 2,800. However, the health service said the vast majority of them have chosen to delay treatment or are dealing with “very complex cases”.

In its recovery plan published earlier this year, the Government promised that “nobody” in England would wait more than two years until July.

Hospitals are now being told to treat those who have waited 18 months or more, with an April 2023 deadline to eliminate those waiters entirely.

It comes after Health Secretary Steve Barclay yesterday warned ministers are facing a “real sprint” to prepare the NHS for the months ahead, warning of a tripe threat from Covid, flu and a worsening health amid rising prices Has.

He vowed to relax recruitment rules and launch a hiring blitz to prepare the health service for the cold months, including appointing thousands more medics from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The NHS backlog for routine treatments rose from 6.4million to 6.6million in May, the last month with data, meaning one in eight people in England is now waiting for elective care, often in pain

The NHS backlog for routine treatments rose from 6.4million to 6.6million in May, the last month with data, meaning one in eight people in England is now waiting for elective care, often in pain

The NHS backlog for routine treatments rose from 6.4million to 6.6million in May, the last month with data, meaning one in eight people in England is now waiting for elective care, often in pain

Heart attack patients waited on average more than 50 minutes for an ambulance in England last month - almost triple the NHS target. In June there were more than 300,000 Category 2 operations

Heart attack patients waited on average more than 50 minutes for an ambulance in England last month - almost triple the NHS target. In June there were more than 300,000 Category 2 operations

Heart attack patients waited on average more than 50 minutes for an ambulance in England last month – almost triple the NHS target. In June there were more than 300,000 Category 2 operations

Some 22,034 people had to wait more than 12 hours in emergency departments in England in June before they were actually admitted, NHS England said. The number is up from 19,053 the previous month, but still below a record 24,138 in April, which was the highest calendar month for any calendar month since August 2010. The number waiting at least four hours after the admission decision was 130,109 in June, up from 122,768 the previous month. A total of 72% of patients in England were seen at A&Es within four hours in the past month, up from 73% in May

Some 22,034 people had to wait more than 12 hours in emergency departments in England in June before they were actually admitted, NHS England said. The number is up from 19,053 the previous month, but still below a record 24,138 in April, which was the highest calendar month for any calendar month since August 2010. The number waiting at least four hours after the admission decision was 130,109 in June, up from 122,768 the previous month. A total of 72% of patients in England were seen at A&Es within four hours in the past month, up from 73% in May

Some 22,034 people had to wait more than 12 hours in emergency departments in England in June before they were actually admitted, NHS England said. The number is up from 19,053 the previous month, but still below a record 24,138 in April, which was the highest calendar month for any calendar month since August 2010. The number waiting at least four hours after the admission decision was 130,109 in June, up from 122,768 the previous month. A total of 72% of patients in England were seen at A&Es within four hours in the past month, up from 73% in May

A briefing note from NHS England to regional leaders, seen by specialist publication The Health Service Journal, said Super September will aim to “accelerate current indicators of recovery”.

It will run for two weeks from September 26 and will require hospitals to “adjust routine aftercare arrangements”.

The letter said: “The freed-up capacity will allow for a greater focus on patients who are the longest-waiting and have not yet been seen.

“We anticipate that participating providers will focus on clinical validation and first outpatient appointments and/or use the time to test other innovative ideas that could impact their elective recovery efforts.”

She added that there was an “urgent need” to change the way hospitals deliver outpatient services – appointments that take place without hospital admission, such as scans, minor surgeries and routine checkups.

WHAT WAS IN THE RECOVERY PLAN?

  • END TWO-YEAR WAITING PERIODS UNTIL JULY 2022
  • END OF 18-MONTH WAITING PERIODS UNTIL APRIL 2023
  • END OF WAITING PERIODS OF 65 WEEKS UNTIL MARCH 2024
  • END OF ONE YEAR WAITING PERIOD UNTIL MARCH 2025
  • 9 MILLION MORE CHECKS AND TESTS BY MARCH 2025
  • ELECTION MAINTENANCE WAITING LISTS WILL BE DISCONTINUED FROM MARCH 2024
  • 75% OF URGENT CANCER REFERRALS WERE DIAGNOSED OR EXCLUDED WITHIN 28 DAYS BY MARCH 2024
  • NUMBER OF PEOPLE WAITING MORE THAN 62 DAYS FOR URGENT CANCER REFERRAL BACK TO PRE-PANDEMIC BY MARCH 2023
  • 95% OF PEOPLE WILL RECEIVE A DIAGNOSTIC TEST WITHIN SIX WEEKS BY MARCH 2025
  • 30% MORE ELECTIVE SUPPLY BY 2024/25 THAN PRE PANDEMIC

* ALL GOALS DEPEND ON MAINTAINING “LOW LEVELS OF COVID”.

The letter urges hospitals to use staff “smarter and more productively,” reschedule those appointments and free up capacity for patients who have waited the longest and have not yet been seen.

NHS bosses have also ordered medics to look into whether those appointments are necessary.

Robert Ede, head of health and social care at the Policy Exchange think tank, told The Telegraph the NHS approach was “sound as it should” as outpatient care is “ripe for change”.

But he warned those with “sharp elbows” might be more likely to get the help they needed.

Latest data shows a record 6.6 million people are waiting for routine hospital appointments in England. The number rose 56 percent from 4.2 million in March 2020.

The queue spiraled out of control as hospitals focused on treating the influx of Covid patients, dealing with staff absences and helping to roll out the vaccine.

February NHS forecasts show the problem will get worse before it gets better. The number is expected to peak at 10.7 million in March 2024 – by which time one in five people in England would be queuing.

Meanwhile, the number of patients who waited more than two years rose from 2,600 in April 2021 – when the numbers were first recorded – to 24,000 in January 2022.

NHS England today confirmed 2,777 had more than two years left to wait.

The health service said 1,579 patients “opted to delay treatment” because they declined an offer for an earlier appointment at another hospital.

And 1,030 two-year-old waiters are “very complex cases” that could not be safely transferred to another hospital, such as B. a spine operation that has to be carried out in a special center, it said.

That leaves 168 patients waiting more than two years, the vast majority of whom live in the South West, which has been hardest hit by Covid absences and pressure from the NHS.

The recovery plan included a footnote stating that some patients “will wait longer” and “a very small number of specific highly specialized areas may need tailored plans to address the backlog”.

However, the year-long waiting list is growing. Around 3,000 people in England had to wait a year for treatment as of March 2020. However, in May 2022 it was 331,600 – the latest data is available.

The NHS said it is working “hard” to ensure the remaining patients who have not yet been treated are treated as soon as possible.

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, said the health service had “further reformed the way we deliver care” and used “innovative techniques”, “breakthrough technology” and allowed patients to go to other hospitals to to be seen faster.

She said the health service will focus on treating patients who have waited longer than 18 months in the next phase of its Covid recovery plan.

dr But Robert Stone, director of elective rehabilitation at NHS England, has warned that target is also likely to be missed.

He told the HSJ that there is a “huge cohort” of more than 1 million patients who will soon fall into the 18-month category if they are not treated soon.

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/nhs-to-launch-super-september-to-cut-down-backlogs-in-time-for-winter/ NHS launches ‘Super September’ to clear backlogs in time for winter

Brian Ashcraft

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