HPN Expo

ENT Case Study with a large NHS FT in the Midlands


The challenge
As of December 2022, the ENT Department at the Trust encountered significant challenges in mitigating the escalation of wait times exceeding 78 weeks.


By December, a total of 130 patients were identified as part of the incomplete referral-to-treatment list exceeding 78 weeks, alongside 623 patients on the list exceeding 52 weeks. Furthermore, the Trust was confronted by the impending government deadline to address the backlog of patients exceeding 78 weeks by March 31st.


During the last half of 2022, the Trust only made a small reduction in the number of 78ww from 145 to 131. Consequently, the Trust opted to seek assistance from 18 Week Support in tackling the backlog.


What we did
With the deadline only 4 months away, we promptly initiated our efforts in December by implementing outpatient clinics offering a full suite of diagnostics and took a comprehensive pathway approach for those patients that were identified as needing surgical intervention. To meet the required activity levels we ran 4 rooms over the weekend.


Initially, we allocated two clinic rooms each day on Saturdays and Sundays, primarily for outpatient appointments. However, we implemented a complete pathway model, wherein patients assessed by our team and determined to require surgical intervention were
subsequently scheduled for treatment by the 18 Week Support program and underwent surgery accordingly.


Notably, all patients underwent surgery within a timeframe of less than 6 weeks from their initial outpatient appointment.


The results
By March 2023, the Trust achieved a significant transformation in its waiting list and activity levels.


Through successful collaboration, the backlog of patients waiting over 78 weeks was eradicated by March 31st. From December 2022 to March 2023, the number of patients exceeding 78 weeks decreased by 98%, from 131 to only 2. The 18 Week Support program
conducted 31 lists and treated a total of 1239 patients. We were able to achieve this through an increase in clinic utilisation, an average of 96% compared to the Trust average of 82%. Our service received exceptional satisfaction ratings, with 99.9% of patients rating it as very
good and expressing their likelihood to recommend it to others.