Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) says it has significantly reduced its treatment waiting times after a series of super clinics and targeted weeks.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, large numbers of routine procedures and appointments were postponed, meaning longer waiting times for patients in need of treatment.

At the end of March, the trust, which operates King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, had around 2,430 patients waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment.

This number has been cut in half in the four months since, according to the trust.

BHRUT said successive ‘Bones R Us’ weeks held by the trauma and orthopaedic team saw a large number of procedures completed.

These weeks involved carrying out a higher number of procedures than the typical ten to 12.

In June, the trust focused on patients needing surgery to their upper limbs, feet and ankles, completing 60 procedures in five days.

The team has also been holding 'super clinics' during the week and at weekends since April, seeing 260 outpatients during a two-day clinic on June 12 and 13.

At the most recent ‘Bones R Us’ week in July, the trust carried out 51 hip and knee replacements.

The project has been shortlisted for the upcoming Health Service Journal Value Award of the Year.

Meanwhile, twilight clinics and a paediatric super clinic have helped the ophthalmology team reduce their backlog, the trust said, with waiting times now under two months.

After testing ways to safely see as many patients as possible, their paediatric super clinic week treated 326 children, five times the usual average.

The neurosurgery team held a spinal review super clinic on Saturday June 12, which they called Back2Backs, in which they saw 119 patients.

The urology team held two super clinics to help reduce their waiting lists. The first saw 72 patients, while 120 were seen on the second day.

At the cardio-respiratory physiology unit, the team expanded their hours, running early morning clinics and seeing patients over lunchtimes and on Saturdays, the trust said.

Referrals were reduced to pre-pandemic levels by February this year, according to BHRUT.