PERFORMANCE: The main “performance challenge” of the North Staffordshire PCT trust remains the achievement of the 18 week referral to treatment target for inpatient and day case surgery.

Meanwhile, for South Staffordshire PCT, board papers also show an inpatient backlog which stood at just under 1,000 at the end of June.

Areas of difficulty in relation to capacity are trauma and orthopaedics especially in spinal surgery. Work has been underway to find a provider who can provide treatment for spinal patients.

The papers show that North Staffordshire PCT has contracted a Sheffield based independent sector provider to carry out a “significant amount” of the spinal case mix at University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

The provider will provide satellite clinics locally for pre-operative work, outpatients and physiotherapy.