News of NHS Improvement’s waiting times validation project comes at an interesting point for those affected by referral to treatment data.

HSJ revealed in March that thousands of patients have waited more than a year at trusts that are not reporting their data.

The overall waiting list stubbornly continues to grow

Later this month some of the alarming number of trusts which do not have good enough data to report their waiting times are due to come back into the fold.

The validation work’s significance can be gauged from two things: the number of trusts being looked at – 60 is more than a third of the acute sector; and the cost – RTT data costs £3m a year to collect overall, so validation costing £2m is significant.

The centre will be hoping the validation exercise will identify significant numbers of patients who have been treated but mistakenly left on the system.

NHS Improvement believes that if emergency department performance and the money situation are taken care of, then RTT will take care of itself.

Patient care scandals look to be in the post, and some may already have happened

This looks less and less likely as the overall waiting list stubbornly continues to grow.

Exercises like this data validation and more trusts actually reporting their figures will make the waiting list picture clearer, but it won’t make it any prettier.

Patient care scandals look to be in the post on RTT, and some may already have happened.

NHS Improvement to check waiting lists of 60 trusts