Persistent problems with a new electronic patient record system will stop an integrated acute and community trust from reporting its elective waiting times for nearly a year.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust stopped reporting against the referral to treatment target in July last year. It initially said it would resume reporting in September.

This was pushed back to January and in the trust’s latest board papers it said RTT reporting will not restart until May.

The problems stem from the trust’s implementation of new electronic patient record system TrakCare last year, which caused data quality and backlog issues.

The £218m income trust has received help from NHS Improvement’s intensive support team and members of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group have also visited.

Andy Ibbs, the trust’s director of operations, told HSJ the trust had demonstrated “significant progress in resolving the data validation issues”, but confirmed the first RTT data will be published in June (covering May performance).

An action plan has been shared with NHSI and the CCG.

The plan includes freeing up staff from other tasks to address the “backlog of data entry and data quality”.

The trust is hoping to prevent new data validation issues by “stopping the problem at the source through the implementation of a suite of operational protocol and refresher training,” Mr Ibbs said. 

Training is being undertaken with staff involved in outpatients and bookings.

In addition, a working group meets weekly to “manage and monitor action” to resolve the issues. The CCG is providing a senior manager to work with the trust, and the trust has an option to take on additional support if needed. 

Northern Devon Healthcare, which is searching for a new chief executive, is one of six trusts in England to have stopped reporting against the RTT target.

TrakCare is also being implemented at Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust, where patient data was mistakenly sent to a server in USA last year, and Yeovil Hospital FT.