Diagnostic waiting times
The diagnostic standard is that, at the end of each month, 99% of patients should wait less than six weeks for their test. We must report our performance in 15 tests that are set nationally in three areas - endoscopy, imaging and physiological measurement.
During 2015/16 significant progress was made in addressing and sustaining our diagnostic waiting times performance (standard is for less than 1% of patients to have waited over six weeks at month end), which was achieved from September 2015 - December 2016. During this time performance was also achieved for Endoscopy (September to November).
In January this was lower than normal as some patients chose to wait longer than 6 weeks over the Christmas period. We have also been reliant on partners from the independent sector to help us provide 50% of our routine capacity. Reduced availability from them has had an impact on the number of patients we have been able to see in certain timeframes.
Whilst performance was restored in February, there were similar availability problems over the Easter period which affected March performance.
Continued growth in demand for Endoscopy and MRI scanning, coupled with reduced internal capacity remain our biggest risks to achieving this standard during 2016/17. We are looking at additional recruitment to help reduce any associated risks.