PERFORMANCE: In the final three months of 2012-13 Bolton Foundation Trust more than halved its ‘backlog’ of patients who had been waiting more than 18 weeks for admission, according to clinical commissioning group board papers.

A report to Bolton CCG’s April board meeting states: “At the beginning of quarter four (week ending 6 January 2013) there were 303 patients in the admitted backlog (14.8 per cent of all patients on an admitted pathway).

“The Trust has undertaken additional work within the organisation and worked with third parties to increase the amount of activity undertaken in order to reduce the size of the backlog.

“At the beginning of quarter one of 2013-14 (week ending 7 April 2013) the admitted backlog had reduced to 115 patients (6.8 per cent of all patients on an admitted pathway).”

Over the same period, the trust cut its backlog of non-admitted patients from 975 to 554, the paper adds.

The paper states that the trust, the commissioner, and regulator Monitor all “agreed that the work to reduce the number of patients who were already waiting in excess of 18 weeks, outweighed the need to meet the [18 week referral to treatment] standard in quarter four of 2012-13”.

It adds: “The Trust has therefore concentrated on admitting for treatment, those patients who have already been waiting longer than 18 weeks. The effect of this is to record an agreed breach of the aggregated position for all three Referral to Treatment standards for 18 weeks in quarter four. From April 2013 the Trust will be able to treat patients in each specialty within the required standards.”