PERFORMANCE: Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust is underperforming against its own target for cancelled operations, the trust’s latest board papers show.

The West Midlands trust is however still hitting its national waiting times targets for accident and emergency and elective surgery.

In January, 54 patients had operations cancelled by BCH. While this was in line with the average and the performance of the previous month, the overall number of operations cancelled in the year to date is 4.5 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

This means that a key priority of the trust – a 10 per cent reduction in cancellations on 2012-13 levels, is not being met.

Since April 2013, the hospital has cancelled 670 operations, with the lack of Paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds the single largest reason for cancellations, accounting for 27 per cent of cases.

An increase to PICU capacity from 28 to 31 beds has been delayed “due to staffing issues”.

The trust is however performing well against the headline national waiting times targets. In February 92.6 per cent of patients waiting to start elective treatment were within the 18 week target, and in A&E for the week ending 20 April 96.8 per of patients were admitted within four hours.