PERFORMANCE: Continued increasing demand for neurosurgery has hit the specialist foundation’s ability to meet referral-to-treatment waiting times targets, its commissioners have reported.

In a 15 November report covering performance to the end of July, the NHS Merseyside board was told the centre was “continuing to experience increasing demand for neurosurgery which has impacted on their ability to deliver on the admitted [patients] targets (both admitted median and [the percentage]
admitted within 18 weeks)”.

It added: “They have identified additional capacity in the private sector but are limited on the range of patients suitable to be treated within [those facilities]. As a longer term solution they are increasing their surgical workforce but this will not be in place until November 2011.

“Pain management services are also experiencing increasing demand and the Trust is working with local [primary care trusts] to identify alternative patient pathways, which will take time for any impact to be realised.”