PERFORMANCE: Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust’s difficulties with reporting waiting list figures could drag on into the autumn, amid signs that a staggering number of patients have waited more than a year for treatment.

A report by the Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group stated that the trust estimated that 179 patients have waited more than a year for surgery - over a third of the 510 in that category across the whole NHS, according to official figures.

More than 2,200 patients have been waiting for more than 18 weeks, the report added.

The CCG accepted that while these were “not accurate” figures they were “an indication of the scale of the number of patients waiting for surgery”, it stated.

The report also noted that the total number of patients waiting for procedures had not “materially reduced” since the “major data quality issue” came to light.

Work was now underway to review and validate all patients in the backlog, and to introduce a new system “to ensure the accurate monitoring of [referral to treatment] pathways”.

However, this work has been “more complex” than expected and the completion date of March would be pushed back to at least autumn, the report stated.

The entire backlog of patients waiting for treatment was not expected to be cleared until “late 2015”.

The CCG had also initiated a further review of Barnet and Chase Farm’s data recovery process and aimed to offer patients in the backlog the opportunity to be treated elsewhere.

A spokeswoman for the trust said it was “extremely sorry” that some patients were still waiting for treatment.

She said that patients have been prioritised according to clinical need, extra clinics and operating theatre sessions have been held and local hospitals have been asked to help clear the backlog.

The Royal Free Hospital Foundation Trust is due to take over Barnet and Chase Farm in July if the move is approved.