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

File photo dated 18/1/2023 of a NHS hospital ward, as nursing university applicants have fallen by 24%, leading to fears the reduction could exacerbate Scotland's NHS recruitment crisis.File photo dated 18/1/2023 of a NHS hospital ward, as nursing university applicants have fallen by 24%, leading to fears the reduction could exacerbate Scotland's NHS recruitment crisis.
File photo dated 18/1/2023 of a NHS hospital ward, as nursing university applicants have fallen by 24%, leading to fears the reduction could exacerbate Scotland's NHS recruitment crisis.
Thousands of patients were waiting for a key diagnostic test at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust in March, figures show.

Thousands of patients were waiting for a key diagnostic test at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust in March, figures show.

A health charity says poor NHS performance demonstrates the need for a workforce plan and greater funding across the health service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

NHS England figures show at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust, 8,767 patients were waiting for one of 14 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 1,600 (18%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Across England, 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in March – the same as in February.

Saoirse Mallorie, senior analyst at the King’s Fund, a health charity, said: "This is yet another month of worrying statistics that show people not getting the standard of care they need, and yet another month waiting for the oft-promised and long-overdue workforce plan, which must have funding to underpin it."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"There also needs to be a shift in focus from receiving care in hospitals to care closer to home. This involves investing properly in primary and community care services, as well as social care reform and full engagement with the voluntary sector," she added.

Separate 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.

But NHS England data shows just 64% of patients urgently referred by the NHS who received cancer treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust in March began treatment within two months of their referral.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That was up from 58% in February, but down from 81% in March 2022 last year.

Some 260,308 urgent cancer referrals were made by GPs in England in March – but the proportion of cancer patients who saw a specialist within two weeks of being referred urgently by their GP fell from 86.1% in February to 83.9% in March, remaining below the 93% target.

Professor Pat Price, co-founder of the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign, said: “These quarterly NHS cancer figures are the worst on record. They show despite the heroic efforts of the front-line staff, cancer patients are likely to continue to die from waiting as well as from cancer itself."

"Without extra treatment capacity and a dedicated cancer plan we will continue to condemn cancer patients to avoidable delays and lives will be lost unnecessarily," she added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Other figures show 57,704 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust at the end of March – up from 55,817 in February, and 48,206 in March last year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at the South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust was eight weeks at the end of March – down from nine weeks in February.

Nationally, 7.3 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of March.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The NHS has seen and treated record numbers of cancer patients over the last two years and in March nearly 92% of patients started cancer treatment within one month."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Cancer is being diagnosed at an earlier stage more often, with survival rates improving across almost all types of cancer and NHS England continues to actively support those trusts requiring the greatest help to cut hospital waiting lists, which is a top priority for government," they added.