• St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust to outsource 125 general surgeries
  • Work being sent to Spire and another NHS provider
  • General surgery makes up bulk of trust’s 118 patients waiting more than a year for elective treatment

A hospital trust is to outsource more than 100 surgeries as it tries to bring its waiting list under control.

St George’s University Hospitals FT in south London is to transfer 125 procedures to private firm Spire Healthcare and a trust over the border in Surrey.

The 125 patients are all scheduled for general surgery, which makes up the bulk of the trust’s year-plus waiters. A report to the organisation’s most recent board meeting said 110 of the 118 patients waiting more than a year at St George’s were in the general surgery category.

A St George’s spokesman said the bulk of the work in general surgery would go to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals FT, but would not confirm how much income it was losing as a result.

The trust said 50 procedures were going to Spire and whether it was paying for this work or if it was being charged to commissioners. A spokesman said the cost to the trust would be “minimal”. The trust would not confirm how much income it was losing as a result.

St George’s began re-reporting its official waiting times data in January, after an absence of two and a half years.

This was caused by serious failings in its patient records system that, as of February, had seen 15 patients come to severe harm.

In her report to the March board, chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell said: “We now have systems and processes in place at St George’s Hospital for tracking patients accurately on their clinical pathways. This is a big step forward, and means that staff and patients can now have greater confidence in the services we provide.”

Work on improving the data system at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, which the trust also runs, is ongoing.

The trust’s current performance against the national waiting times target – that 92 per cent of patients wait no more than 18 weeks – is not being met.

Performance for January was 84 per cent, with 39,500 patients waiting for treatment.

Ms Totterdell said: “It is clear that some patients are still waiting too long for surgery. This is clearly not acceptable, and one of our priorities for 2019-20 is to improve our elective.”