PERFORMANCE: More than half of patients seen at North Middlesex University Hospital Trust in June had waited more than 18 weeks for treatment.

NHS London documents, seen by HSJ, show that overall the capital’s acute trusts dealt with 89.8 per cent of patients within the 18-week waiting time threshold, falling just short of the 90 per cent target.

Seven of London’s 29 acute trusts missed the target. The biggest outliers being North Middlesex Hospital, Kingston Hospital Trust and South London Healthcare Trust, which saw rates of 46.9 per cent, 70.5 per cent and 76.7 per cent, respectively.

A primary care trust referral management problem, the causes of which are still being investigated, is the main reason behind the delays at North Middlesex.

A serious incident investigation was launched in April after almost 2,000 referrals to North Middlesex and Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust were put on hold due to “resourcing issues” at NHS Enfield.

North Middlesex is still working through this backlog of referrals.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The trust had an agreement with commissioners that there would be some end of year delays and these resulted in the low 18-week achievement shown in the figures.”

He added: “There were also staff shortages in some specialties. The issue has now been resolved.”

St George’s Healthcare Trust reported a rate of 77 per cent to NHS London for June but told HSJ it did not submit this data to the Department of Health “because of concerns about data quality”.

In July interim chief executive Peter Coles said the trust was “facing issues with a large volume of data with no pathway ID and the quality of data”. He is now chairing a steering group to investigate the causes.

Guy’s and St Thomas’, Ealing and Newham all missed the 90 per cent rate by less than 2.5 per cent.

An NHS London finance report for the first quarter of the financial year showed London’s acute trusts £11.1m behind their financial plans, largely due to missed cost improvement programmes.

The data, from a report to the strategic health authority’s delivery group, shows more than half of the variance from plan is down to two trusts.

Barts and the London Trust was £3m behind plan and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust was behind by £4m.