Leeds hospital chiefs develop city's first 'elective care hub' to help tackle backlog as waiting list grows to over 75,000 patients

Health chiefs are currently developing the city’s first ‘elective care hub’ in a bid to help tackle the growing backlog of patients waiting for treatment in Leeds.

By Joanna Wardill
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 4:49 pm

Figures show the total number of patients on waiting lists for treatment at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust stood at 75,658, as of the end of December 2021 - an increase of 774 patients on the month previously and over 12,000 more than were waiting at the end of May 2021.

The numbers of patients waiting over a year was 3,268 at the end of December, a decrease of 77 on November’s position but the number waiting over two years - 104 weeks - had increased by 41.

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The number of patients on the waiting list for treatment at Leeds hospitals now stands at 75,658.

The figures were published in papers for the most recent board meeting at the trust, where chief executive Julian Hartley also spoke about the creation of the first ‘elective care hub’.

Elective care hubs aim to create Covid-free sites, away from emergency care, which provide safe spaces to help manage people who need elective procedures - in a bid to make some headway into the backlog and waiting lists.

In his report to the board, Mr Hartley said the first of these is currently being developed at Wharfedale Hospital.

He said: “Feasibility and design work is underway and, if viable, development will continue for the next 12-18 months.

Julian Hartley, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

“Our aim as a Trust is to significantly reduce the number of patients waiting more than 104 weeks by the end of March 2022.

“Hubs such as this will also minimise the risk of planned care being cancelled when we have increased numbers of patients with Covid-19 or large admissions coming through our emergency departments.”

Of making progress in continuing elective work, he said: “The challenge is significant and co-ordinated efforts within the Trust and with regional partners are required, which is why programmes of work are underway internally, with the independent sector and through the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT).”

A new elective care hub is being developed at Wharfedale Hospital. Picture: James Hardisty

He added: “It should also be remembered that despite the demand of Covid, much elective work has continued throughout the pandemic and there have been some significant achievements. For example, 167 kidney transplants were achieved during 2021 including 54 live kidney donors; a demonstration of the flexibility and efforts of teams in the circumstances.”

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