The George Eliot Hospital: all the key numbers for the NHS Trust in October

Almost 15,000 patients were waiting for routine treatment at the George Eliot Hospital in October, figures show.

File photo dated 03/10/14 of an NHS hospital ward, as thousands of stroke patients who could benefit from a "miracle treatment" that pulls them back from "near death" are being denied access to it, a charity has warned.
File photo dated 03/10/14 of an NHS hospital ward, as thousands of stroke patients who could benefit from a "miracle treatment" that pulls them back from "near death" are being denied access to it, a charity has warned.

Almost 15,000 patients were waiting for routine treatment at the George Eliot Hospital in October, figures show.

The figures come as the King's Fund warns the NHS is "bursting at the seams", as winter pressures mount up.

NHS England figures show 14,146 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust at the end of October – down slightly from 14,210 in September, but an increase on 13,042 in October 2021.

Of those, 75 had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at the George Eliot Hospital was 11 weeks at the end of October – down from 12 weeks in September.

Nationally, 7 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of October.

Danielle Jefferies, from the King’s Fund, said: “The latest figures show an NHS bursting at the seams as services head into winter struggling to meet sharply rising demand while keeping patients safe.

"It is easy to become numb to dire NHS performance figures, but the health service really is facing the toughest pressures since modern records began," she added.

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

At the George Eliot Hospital, 3,245 patients were waiting for one of 11 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 194 (6%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Dr Susan Crossland, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine – a representative body for hospital staff – said of the latest NHS performance data that "such shocking levels of performance are now commonplace" and a sign of "just how far the NHS has fallen".

“Standards are at all-time lows for both patients and staff, and it is demoralising for colleagues across the country and the UK as a whole who are working tirelessly against the tide to deliver a reasonable quality of care,” Dr Crossland added.

Other figures from NHS England show that of 30 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at the George Eliot Hospital in October, 19 were receiving cancer treatment within two months of their referral.

A month previously – when 27 patients were referred – 16 were treated within 62 days.

In October 2021, 26 patients were treated within this period, out of 38 that were referred.

Professor Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care for NHS England, said the service is facing a "perfect storm".

“Despite the ongoing pressures on services which are exacerbated by flu hospitalisations, issues in social care meaning we cannot discharge patients who are ready, and record numbers needing A&E, staff have powered through to bring down some of our longest waits for care," he continued.

Professor Redhead added that the organisation is hoping to alleviate some of the pressures with a new respiratory infections hub, alongside an expansion of support for those suffering mental health crises.