Trust cuts waiting list backlog created by computer error

BHRUT's new chief executive Matthew Trainer at Queens Hospital in Romford. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

BHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

A hospital trust has revealed it has reduced the number of patients left waiting more than two years for treatment after a computer error.

This paper reported that Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) had admitted to a blunder which saw around 1,800 patients deleted from a waiting list without having been seen.

The mistake affected people who were waiting to see a specialist after a routine referral by a GP.

Of the 1,800 patients impacted, BHRUT confirmed that around 200 had been waiting more than two years for treatment.

But the trust said it has cut this number down to 72 in the space of three weeks.

BHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer said: “I am proud of how our teams have worked together to help those whose treatment has been delayed.

"I am confident their dedication and innovation will ensure we clear this particular backlog by the end of June, except for a small number of cases where patient choice may be a factor."

The trust, which runs Queen's Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes, has used a number of initiatives to try and get on top of its waiting list backlog.

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These included two "super weeks" in ophthalmology which saw a total of around 1,800 patients seen while the gynaecology team has run two weekend clinics this month, seeing a total of 158 patients.

Another clinic is planned this Sunday and more weekend clinics will be held in the months ahead, a trust spokesperson said.

Senior doctors have also been allocated to the regular weekday gynaecology clinics to ensure more patients are seen.

The trust said the computer mistake has been fixed and those affected have been contacted.

It is carrying out reviews to assess the impact of the delays and a formal group is being set up to oversee the trust's response.

Mr Trainer apologised for the mistake, adding: "We are putting on extra clinics to reduce the backlog.

"When mistakes happen in healthcare, I believe it’s important to be open and transparent about what went wrong and be clear about what’s being done to put it right."