Waiting time targets missed every month since 2015 by two South London Hospital Trusts

Waiting time targets have been missed every single month since September 2015 by two South London Hospital Trusts, new figures have revealed.

Data from the House of Commons Library shows King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust failed to treat patients within 18 weeks in each month since September 2015.

The NHS Constitution says patients should not wait longer than 18 weeks between GP referral to treatment, and that Trusts should ensure that 92 per cent of patients are seen in that timeframe. 

St George’s is currently performing at 65 per cent against the national average of 57 per cent.

Both South London trusts said patient demand – which is higher than ever – coupled with the impact of COVID-19 and strike action over the past year has increased waiting times.

Across the country, 114 trusts have not met this target since 2019, with 22 trusts having failed to treat patients within 18 weeks at any time since 2015.

On the other end of the scale, 14 trusts, including the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, met the target in February 2024.

Figures show the 22 hospital trusts which failed to treat patients within 18 weeks at any time since 2015 (Picture: Labour)

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust also have not hit their NHS diagnostic target, which says that 99 per cent of patients who are waiting for a diagnostic test or scan should be seen within six weeks, since at least November 2023.

But, St George’s are in the top 10 Trusts across London and South of England for its four-hour ED waiting time performance – having performed at 82 per cent last week.

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “On Rishi Sunak’s watch, record numbers of patients are left waiting for hours on end in A&E when delays can cost lives. 

“Under the Conservatives, people can no longer trust the NHS to be there for them when they need it. 

“When Labour was last in government, patients were treated in good time, and the maximum waiting time was cut from 18 months to 18 weeks.

 “It’s time to stop the chaos, turn the page and start to rebuild. The country needs change, and only Labour can get the NHS back on its feet.”

A spokeswoman from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are already taking action to ensure patients are treated as quickly as possible, including opening more operating theatres, scheduling weekend surgical appointments, and implementing virtual appointments where appropriate.”

A St George’s spokeswoman said: “We understand that some of our patients wait longer than we would like however we are consistently performing in line with, and often above, national targets and have made significant improvements to make this happen.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: St George’s Hospital Emergency Department, part of St George’s University NHS Foundation Trust (Picture: Google Street View)

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