Sheffield hospital waiting lists: Nearly 2,000 waiting over a year for treatment, figures show

Thousands of patients have been on South Yorkshire hospital waiting lists for more than a year, as health bosses struggle to meet targets following the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 9:58 am

The figures are revealed in Government figures for the number of patients waiting to start treatment at the end of March this year, with bosses saying they are still facing backlogs as a result of the effects of Covid restrictions.

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Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has the longest list, with 1,584 listed as waiting over a year, ahead of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, with 1,204.Sheffield Children’s has 401, while Rotherham has 75, and Barnsley has 64.

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Thousands of patients have been on South Yorkshire hospital waiting lists for more than a year, as health bosses struggle to meet targets following the coronavirus pandemic. The picture shows an operation underway at the Hallamshire Hospital. Photo: Sarah Washbourn

Hospitals have a target of seeing 92 per cent of patients waiting less than 18 weeks to start treatment.

In South Yorkshire, Barnsley (84.2 per cent) is closest to meeting that target, ahead of Rotherham (74.8), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (72.9) and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (68.3)

At the Children’s Hospital the figure is 68 per cent.

Thousands of patients have been on South Yorkshire hospital waiting lists for more than a year, as health bosses struggle to meet targets following the coronavirus pandemic. PIcture shows Sheffield's Northern General Hospital. Picture Scott Merrylees

The figures also show the average (median) waiting time at Sheffield Teaching hospitals to be nine weeks. The Doncaster figure stood at 9.7 weeks, Barnsley’s figure was seven weeks and Rotherham’s was 9.3.

The average wait at Sheffield Children’s was 10.1.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Dr Jennifer Hill, medical director (operations), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our teams have worked really hard to carry out as many operations as possible over the past two years but regrettably some procedures had to be paused until the height of the pandemic subsided.

Thousands of patients have been on South Yorkshire hospital waiting lists for more than a year, as health bosses struggle to meet targets following the coronavirus pandemic. PIcture shows Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Photo: Dean Arkins

“Like all NHS Trusts this has left us with a considerable backlog and for us the number of patients is particularly high because we are one of the largest Trusts in the NHS and provide many specialist services not available elsewhere.

“We are pleased that almost three quarters of patients are being treated within 18 weeks of their referral, but we are very aware how distressing it is for people to have to wait and are doing all we can to catch up as quickly as we can, especially for those patients who have been waiting the longest.”

Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Ruth Brown, chief executive at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “Across Sheffield Children’s our teams are doing everything they can to see patients as soon as possible as we know how difficult it is to wait to access care. As we provide a number of specialist services we have a high number of patients coming to us for care they can’t receive elsewhere.

“We are reducing waiting times in a number of ways, including introducing new weekend and evening clinics and surgery options for some specialities. We also have a new panel which reviews patients waiting to receive care with us and this is to make sure no harm comes to patients while waiting and that those with highest priority are seen quickly. We are seeing a decrease in waiting times for patients but we’re continuing to work hard and find new ways to see people as quickly as we can.”

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals

Dr Tim Noble, executive medical director, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Activity and restrictions put in place as a result of the pandemic have had a significant impact on our waiting times, and we are currently working hard to improve our position.”

He added: “The Trust is adding capacity to shorten waiting times for investigations and treatment. We are also embedding and expanding our Rapid Diagnostic Service, as well as developing the Community Diagnostic Centre in Mexborough, all with an aim to help speed up the time taken for patients to have important investigations which enable treatment, if needed, to proceed.

“Unfortunately, like many hospitals across the country, this will be a long-term project for the trust, but we continue to work hard to improve our waits for the benefit of our local communities, ensuring they get the care they need within a timely manner.”