PERFORMANCE: Increased demand for endoscopy tests has caused the Birmingham and Solihull primary care trust cluster to struggle to hit its target on diagnostic waits.

Board papers for July said: “Patients waiting more than six weeks for a diagnostic test continued to be a problem for the cluster in May while Heart of England Foundation Trust’s recovery plan to deliver the target has been implemented.”

According to the NHS Operating Framework, no more than 1 per cent of any provider’s patients should wait more than six weeks for diagnostic tests.

The board papers said: “Heart of England’s main issues were with endoscopic tests, and although the trust planned to have no patients waiting more than 6 weeks by the end of March, this was failed due to increased demand for tests requiring flexible sigmoidocopy and colonoscopy following the national Bowel Screening Awareness campaign at the beginning of the year.

The papers said the trust will deliver the [local] target of no patients waiting more than six weeks by the end of July.”