New figures produced by Barnet's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) show the cost to resolve data problems that led to thousands of patients waiting more than the target 18 weeks for planned surgery has ballooned from £2m last year to £4.75m.
The CCG finance report at their latest meeting on 30 October said that, "There is a level of uncertainty arising from the RTT [Referral to Treatment] backlog position at Barnet & Chase Farm Hospital (BCFH). Separate provision of £2.75m has been made within the approved budget for this work along with a £2m accrual from last year. There is at present no quantified or validated value for this additional pressure."
In another report on performance discussed at the same meeting the CCG revealed that as of 28 September, 23,171 patients had still not had their referral to treatment validated.
Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals were given a legal direction by NHS England in September for failing to clear up a backlog of 179 patients who had been waiting over a year for surgery, with a further 2,200 waiting more than the 18 week target time.
Labour councillors believe the government's funding cuts to the NHS and the £3bn top down reorganisation of the NHS have caused capacity problems in health service delivery making it much harder for any problems to be resolved quickly.
Labour's Health Spokesperson, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: "The chronic underfunding of the NHS and the £3bn wasted on re-organisation by this Conservative government over the last four years is putting pressure on capacity in our health service and causing human misery – these numbers are real people who are suffering while waiting for treatment they need.
"We have too few doctors and nurses as a result of cuts to deal with the scale of the backlog, which is completely unknown at the moment.
"We are calling for the next health scrutiny meeting to be given an update on the patient backlog which seems to be a bottomless pit at the moment."
1. Details of the Referral to Treatment data validation budget can be found at paragraph 2.0 of the following finance report:
2. Details of the 23,171 validations still to be completed can be found on page 4 of the Integrated Performance Report:
3. For more information on the RTT backlog and legal direction:
For further details please contact:
Labour's Health Spokesperson, Cllr Barry Rawlings: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568