New data released by the NHS shows that more than 28,000 patients are on the waiting list for treatment from the trust that runs Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood.
The results of a survey were published on Thursday, November 9. They show that as of September 2023, a total of 28,129 patients were waiting to start treatment with the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The data has also shown that only 54.1 per cent of patients have been seen within the trust’s target time of 18 weeks from the day of referral. The NHS target is for 92 per cent of patients to be seen within 18 weeks.
The national average for patients seen within 18 weeks is 57.6 per cent of patients. Overall, there are more than 7.7 million people waiting to be seen by their respective NHS trusts across the country.
The Hillingdon trust operates both Mount Vernon and Hillingdon Hospital, the only two major healthcare centres in the borough.
Of the 860 inpatients who were seen at one of these two hospitals in September of this year, 19 out of 20 patients started treatment within 61 weeks.
The data could also be broken down by departments within the trust.
The department which had the lowest number of patients on its waiting list was General Internal Medical Services, which only had 47 people waiting to begin treatment.
Elsewhere, the statistics showed that the trust’s ear, nose and throat department had the lowest percentage of patients who were seen within the 18-week target period, at 14.6 per cent.
The department with the highest percentage of patients who were seen within 18 weeks was the trust’s dermatology service, at 92.7 per cent.
This comes after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report concerning Hillingdon Hospital, which was published in January 2023 and gave the site an ‘inadequate’ rating, particularly criticising its leadership and safety standards.
The report reads: “The service did not always have enough staff to care for patients and keep them safe, and we observed telephone calls going unanswered. Staff did not always adhere to the policy to keep medical records secure.
“We saw no evidence of lessons learnt from incidents amongst front line staff outside the ward.
“We were also not assured how staff were able to communicate effectively with patients with confusion, learning difficulties or hearing impairments.”
However, the report did praise the staff’s treatment of patients, with particular commendation for their care, attention and dedication to their jobs. They also found that staff and management had a good rapport.
The CQC has yet to inspect Mount Vernon Hospital, but at its last inspection in 2019, the cancer centre was given a rating of ‘requires improvement’.
Plans for the new Hillingdon Hospital were approved by Hillingdon Council in October, with a contractor for the development now on board. Construction is set to be completed by 2030.
This comes after the government’s announcement earlier this year that the site would be included in its £20billion New Hospitals Programme.
The redevelopment will see more MRI and CT scanners installed at the new hospital, as well as dedicated areas for children and young people, a much bigger space for emergency care, a multi-storey car park offering more disabled parking, and new bus stops.
The existing hospital will remain open while the works are carried out.
Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment.