College quiet on East Lancs surgery backlog

THE Royal College of Surgeons has declined to comment on the large backlog of surgery patients at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals.

Concerns have mounted over the number of patients waiting for treatment from the orthopaedic team at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, with surgeons said to be ‘unwilling’ to take on extra work at the rates being offered.

The number of backlogged patients, many of whom are waiting for hip and knee replacements, stood at 113 in October, against a ‘tolerance level’ of 54. This has caused the department to miss the 18-week referral to treatment target in recent months, and cost the trust more than £45,000 in financial penalties.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands there has been significant friction between managers and surgeons about how the backlog should be cleared.

But a spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons, which represents some orthopaedic consultants at the trust, said: “We have done some checking and I’m sorry to tell you that we are unable to find anyone who would be willing to speak to you about the above.”

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