PERFORMANCE: Operations are being outsourced to the independent sector at West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust as it attempts to meet the 90 per cent target for referral to treatment across all specialties.

The trust missed the target in September and October on a trust-wide basis but performance overall has improved.

However, it is struggling to meet 90 per cent in all specialties and is outsourcing work in ENT, gynaecology, pain and urology. It is also taking on extra doctors, running services at weekends and changing theatre use in an attempt to get all specialties on track. 

Orthopaedics is considered particularly challenging, because cases have become more complex and require new time in theatre, while the trust is trying to address a significant shortfall in capacity, the March board meeting heard.