Gateshead Health: all the key numbers for the NHS Trust in July

More than 10,000 patients were waiting for routine treatment at Gateshead Health in July, figures show.

More than 10,000 patients were waiting for routine treatment at Gateshead Health in July, figures show.

The King's Fund, a leading healthcare think tank, has said the new Prime Minister must act urgently to tackle the problems blighting the NHS as it heads into a "terrible" winter.

NHS England figures show 11,946 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust at the end of July – up from 11,602 in June, and 9,022 in July 2021.

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    Of those, 77 had been waiting for longer than a year.

    The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at Gateshead Health was 10 weeks at the end of July – up from nine weeks in June.

    Nationally, 6.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of July – a new record.

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    Richard Murray, chief executive of the King's Fund, said the NHS is being "shaken to its core".

    "The challenges affecting the NHS cannot be solved without addressing the systemic workforce shortages and sustained funding shortfalls in social care.

    "The new PM and Secretary of State have a matter of weeks to decide what emergency short term action to take to provide at least some additional support during what promises to be a terrible winter for patients and staff.

    "This could include maximising the campaigns for winter Covid boosters and flu vaccines, tackling the pensions issue driving senior staff out of the NHS, and emergency funding to boost capacity in social care."

    Separate figures show 1.5 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in July – a fall from 1.6 million in June.

    At Gateshead Health, 6,213 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

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    Of them, 1,452 (23%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.

    Responding to the latest performance figures for England as a whole, Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, said the NHS's problems have been "years in the making".

    “The new government is absolutely right to prioritise health and social care as a matter of urgency.

    "Exactly how to turn this around as we go into winter will not be an easy task, but a relentless focus on the workforce, social care and hospital buildings are essential."

    Other figures from NHS England show that of 73 patients urgently referred by their GP who were treated at Gateshead Health in July, 49 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

    A month previously – when 80 patients were referred – 42 were treated within 62 days.

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    In July 2021, 35 patients were treated within this period, out of 56 that were referred.

    New Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Clearly this level of performance is unacceptable, which is why I have set out our priorities will be ABCD: ambulances, backlogs, care and doctors and dentists.

    “We know some of the backlog challenges will increase as people continue to present themselves for treatment.

    "We are investing £39 billion to tackle these challenges, ensure the NHS is fully prepared for winter and fix the broken social care system.”