- There were 147,738 delayed transfers, the highest September level since 2010
- A&Es had their worst September performance in five years as admissions were at highest level
- Increase in elective patients waiting over a year to start treatment but the target was still met
Delayed transfers of care were at their highest level in any September since 2010 as trusts struggle with high bed occupancy rates.
Delayed transfers of care were at their highest level in any September since 2010 as trusts struggled with high bed occupancy rates.
Trust chief executives recently told HSJ they were experiencing bed occupancy rates similar to winter levels, making them concerned about how they will deal with increased admissions in the coming months.
There were 147,738 delayed days in September according to the latest data, released today by NHS England, which was a 6.8 per cent increase on September 2014 and a 28 per cent increase since September 2010.
A number of trusts were told to halve the number of patients who were medically fit for discharge but had not left hospital earlier this year after the highest ever level of DTOCs in January – 150,392.
At the beginning of the year Government ministers met on a weekly basis to focus on cutting DTOCs in the run-up to the election.
The latest data, however, shows the delays are creeping up again.
A report from NHS Providers, published yesterday, said DTOCs “can harm patients and create massive increased and avoidable costs for both the NHS and social services”.
It added there are “real concerns that another NHS bed crisis is just around the corner” and called for the Department of Health to assess the costs of a “sustainable” social care market, and recommended measures including paying all social care workers the national living wage.
Accident and emergency departments had their worst September performance against the four hour target in five years as more patients were admitted than in any other September.
Only 90.1 per cent of patients at major A&Es were seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours, against the 95 per cent target.
There were 458,510 patients admitted in September, a 2.8 per cent increase on last September and a 7.9 per cent increase since September 2010.
In elective treatment the number of patients waiting over a year to start treatment was at its highest since February 2013. There were 799 patients who had not started treatment within a year at the end of September.
Medway Foundation Trust had 10,860 patients waiting over 18 weeks to start treatment, the highest number in the country.
Despite the increase in long waiters, acute trusts still managed to beat the target to start treating 92 per cent of patients within 18 weeks, with 92.5 per cent of patients starting within the timeframe.
Six of the eight cancer targets were met, but the 85 per cent target for patients to begin a first treatment within 62 days from an urgent GP suspected cancer referral was not met. Only 81.5 per cent of patients started treatment within the timeframe.
The 93 per cent standard for two week waiting times for patients with breast symptoms where cancer was not initially suspected was not met, with 92.7 per cent of patients seen by a consultant within 14 days from an urgent GP referral.