East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was still struggling to deliver against national performance metrics in a number of areas, according to board papers.

Minutes from the trust’s December board meeting show chief operating officer Andy Horne highlighted the problem areas as the two week GP referral to first outpatient appointment target for breast symptoms, and 18 week targets for both admitted care and diagnostic care.

“The trust was working with the Department of Health intensive support team in relation to 18 weeks and there was a clear plan in place for delivery of the 18 weeks targets at the end of quarter three, including daily review meetings, and to be able to sustain that performance in quarter four,” the board papers said.

“Some of the concerns related to the size of the backlog of patients and the trust was working with GP colleagues to ensure that demand and capacity were as evenly balanced as possible,” they add.