University College London Hospitals Trust: all the key numbers for the NHS Trust in May

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at University College London Hospitals Trust in May, figures show.

By Will Grimond, Data Reporter

AN NHS hospital ward
Photo: RADAR

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at University College London Hospitals Trust in May, figures show.

Junior doctors walked out on last Thursday as part of five days of industrial action – amid record waiting lists across England.

NHS England figures show 72,325 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of May – down slightly from 72,736 in April, but an increase on 63,111 in May 2022.

Of those, 2,050 (3%) had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at University College London Hospitals Trust was 14 weeks at the end of May – up from 13 weeks in April.

Nationally, 7.5 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of May.

Junior doctors walked out for five days from 7am last Thursday in the longest spell of industrial action in the history of the health service.

They return to work at 7am on July 18th. Radiographers across 43 NHS trusts will also walk out for two days from July 25.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, also called industrial action a “black cloud” hanging over the health service, which is currently in the “most challenging period of operational pressure”.

Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in May – the same as in April.

At University College London Hospitals Trust, 9,725 patients were waiting for one of 13 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 1,075 (11%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Other figures from NHS England show that of 73 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at University College London Hospitals Trust in May, 48 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

A month previously – when 63 patients were referred – 39 were treated within 62 days.

In May 2022, 48 patients were treated within this period, out of 69 that were referred.

Dr Sarah Scobie, acting director of research at the Nuffield Trust think tank, said: “Figures this morning on NHS performance and GP patient experience illustrate clearly that there will be no sudden return to the waiting times the public have been promised and still expect”.

“Yesterday’s update from the NHS that it will adjust recovery targets on waits for planned operations is an acceptance of the difficult reality services now face with no end to doctor strikes in sight,” she added.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “It is disappointing that the BMA is going ahead with further strike action. This five-day walkout by junior doctors will have an impact on thousands of patients, put patient safety at risk and hamper efforts to cut NHS waiting lists.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “This Government is working to cut waiting times and the NHS is treating record numbers of patients each day.”

“We have virtually eliminated 18-month waits, and are taking immediate action to improve urgent care, getting 800 new ambulances on the road, adding 5,000 hospital beds and scaling up virtual wards,” they added.

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