PERFORMANCE: The NHS in the East of England has failed to cut the number of people attending outpatient hospital appointments, while other regions have succeeded, according to a board report.

The first joint performance report, submitted to the NHS Midlands and East strategic health authority cluster board, highlights the differing sucess rates of regions inreducing activity.

Figures for non elective First Finished Consultant Episodes (FFCE) show for first five months of the 2011-12 year, both East Midlands and West Midlands have “successfully reduced non elective activity overall when compared to the prior year”. However the East of England “has seen a small growth in this activity”.

East of England’s activity against the measure grew by 0.9 per cent, compared with a 2.6 per cent reduction across the three SHAs.

The performacne report said: “EoE has only one legacy PCT with a significant reduction - South East Essex has recorded a 15 per cent reduction in non elective activity. The next largest decrease is 2.8 per cent.”

However, it said two “large increases” gave the region a growth in activity overall. North East Essex’s activity for FFCEs was up by 15.9 per cent on the same period in the previous year and Great Yarmouth & Waveney saw a 10.2 per cent rise.

The report said: “Operating as a cluster, it will be important to learn as much as possible about how the significant reductions in each area havebeen achieved. Out of seven legacy PCTs across the cluster which have seen year on year increases of more than 5%, five had planned a reduction in activity. Only Great Yarmouth & Waveney and North East Essex planned for an increase - although the increases experienced have been greater than planned.”