PERFORMANCE: One of London’s biggest teaching hospitals has called in the Department of Health’s intensive support team after experiencing significant problems hitting the 18-week wait for elective procedures target.

Guy’s and St Thomas’s Foundation Trust has a backlog of 1,185 patients who have waited more than a year for treatment, the latest figures show.

The trust’s principal commissioners said the acute would not hit these targets until the second quarter of 2012-13, unless it outsources the work.

A report to the board of the South East London cluster of primary care trusts said the trust had “long-standing backlogs of patients already waiting over 18 weeks, which was not adequately addressed in 2010-11 despite commissioners paying for additional activity specifically to address this issue”.

The document said the issue was mainly in orthopaedics but targets were also missed in plastic surgery and oral surgery.

Paediatric ear, nose and throat, paediatric orthopaedics and adult plastic surgery would all have to be outsourced to bring waiting times back on track, the cluster said.

In a statement Guy’s said it had increased its monthly elective procedures total by 500, an increase of roughly nine per cent “in a concerted effort to reduce some of our longest waiting times that affect patients in a small number of specialist areas”.

It said demand had exceeded capacity in these areas, or the trust provided highly specialised services unavailable elsewhere.

The commissioners also reported Guy’s had missed the target of 85 per cent of cancer patients being treated within 62 days of an urgent referral from a GP.