PERFORMANCE: Commissioners have asked the foundation trust for a “detailed revised plan” for tackling waiting times, which “addresses all capacity constraints and consideration of alternative providers”.

In July 2011-12, the specialist children’s hospital achieved 80.3per cent of admitted patients seen within 18 weeks against a target of 90 per cent, NHS Merseyside’s latest performance noted.

“The trust has focussed on reducing the number of long waiters over the summer; the original plan was to clear the backlog over a two month period, however capacity constraints in consultant workforce have meant this recovery plan has not been delivered. The Trust is predicting achievement for the admitted 90 per cent target by November 2011,” it continued.

“Commissioners have requested a detailed revised plan that addresses all capacity constraints and consideration of alternative providers. Options are limited given the most challenged specialties are spinal surgery and complex trauma and orthopaedic (T&O) where there is a lack of capacity nationally. The trust will continue to submit weekly priority treatment lists (PTLs) until all elements of the standard are being delivered.”

In September the foundation reported 87.1 per cent of admitted patients seen within 18 weeks, according to latest national data.