Ten NHS hospitals with longest waits for an operation in London revealed

Long waits for hospital treatment are continuing to rise, though the size of the total waiting list has fallen (PA Wire)
Long waits for hospital treatment are continuing to rise, though the size of the total waiting list has fallen (PA Wire)

The ten NHS trusts with the longest wait times for an operation in London have been revealed – with London North West University Healthcare Trust topping the list.

Analysis by the Standard found that more than half of patients (50.8 per cent) at the Trust, which operates four hospitals, were waiting more than 18 weeks to start treatment.

It is followed by Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (48.6 per cent), Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (47.1 per cent), Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (46.4 per cent), Barts Health NHS Trust (46.2 per cent) and the Royal Free London NHS Trust (43.6 per cent).

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (44 per cent), Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (42.9 per cent), University College London NHS Foundation Trust (42.5 per cent) and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (39.2 per cent) make up the remainder of the top ten.

The latest figures show that the overall waiting list for routine hospital treatment has dropped for the fourth month in a row, though long waits for treatment have increased and cancer targets continue to be missed.

An estimated 7.58 million treatments were waiting to be carried out at the end of January, relating to 6.32 million patients, down slightly from 7.60 million treatments and 6.37 million patients at the end of December.

The list hit a record high in September 2023 with 7.77 million treatments and 6.50 million patients.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made reducing the waiting list one of his key five pledges for Government, but has blamed ongoing industrial action by junior doctors for his failure to meet the commitment.

Medics in the British Medical Association (BMA) held a six-day walkout, the longest in the history of the health service, at the beginning of the year.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said the Government’s “commitment to cutting waiting times is unwavering”.

She added: “This has been achieved despite disruptive strikes and record winter pressures on our NHS services.”

Rory Deighton, of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, told the BBC that the variation in waiting list times across various hospitals was due to the “cards many have been dealt” rather than individual decision making.

He said that investment into a Trust’s buildings and equipment varied, which “impacts how productive each Trust can be”.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said “demand for NHS services across the country remains high”.

He said: “It is testament to the hard work of staff and the measures in our elective recovery plan that despite the longest period of industrial action in NHS history in January, with one in five days affected, staff still managed to bring the waiting list down – staff delivered more activity than before the pandemic using a range of innovative and new technologies to ensure we continue to make progress on the longest waits for our patients.”