The South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust: all the key numbers for the NHS Trust in July

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust in July, figures show.

Tens of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust 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 55,008 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust at the end of July – up from 54,272 in June, and 43,160 in July 2021.

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    Of those, 107 had been waiting for longer than a year.

    The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust was nine weeks at the end of July – up from eight 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 the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust, 7,072 patients were waiting for one of 14 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

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    Of them, 1,381 (20%) 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 show cancer patients at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust are not being seen quickly enough.

    The NHS states 85% of cancer patients urgently referred by a GP should start treatment within 62 days.

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    But NHS England data shows just 68% of patients urgently referred by their GP who received cancer treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust in July began treatment within two months of their referral.

    That was down from both 75% in June, and 84% in July 2021 last year.

    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.”