PERFORMANCE: Dozens of Buckinghamshire patients have been declined funding after commissioners took action to improve performance against the 18 week referral to treatment standard.

NHS Buckinghamshire reported a steady decline since April against the target. Latest available information, for July 2011, shows that 88 per cent of NHS Buckinghamshire patients were treated in 18 weeks, below the national 90 per cent target.

Board papers for the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire primary care trust cluster say the main specialties breaching the standard are trauma and orthopaedics, and plastic surgery and ophthalmology.

The papers said: “Patients listed for low priority procedures have been reviewed and 64 were declined funding.” Weekly waiting list meetings continuing to assure trajectory.

Commissioners are working with Buckinghamshire Healthcare to address the issue.

The board papers say: “Additional capacity to treat patients has been identified by the PCT with other local providers and activity transfers are going ahead.

“It has been agreed with BHT that any such transfers will be funded by BHT within its existing contractual agreement with the PCT. Primary care providers and patients will be informed of developments and assured with regard to their treatment.”

The papers, from late September, say the current backlog of 1011 is down from 1635 in June, but needs to reduce to 900 to be sustainable.

A locum consultant had been appointed, and additional consultant led sessions were booked.