“Super clinics” aim to clear waiting lists at King George and Queen’s hospitals

King George Hospital, Redbridge, and Queen’s Hospital in Havering are seeing hundreds of patients a day in “super-clinics” in a bid to clear their huge waiting lists.

NHS data at the end of last June showed more than 22,000 people had been waiting for more than four and a half months for elective operations or treatment from the two hospitals.

By December, more than 1,200 patients at the hospitals – both run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) – had waited for more than a year.

Now, as the threat from COVID recedes, the trust is desperate to catch up, holding “super-clinics” lasting a day or even a week to see hundreds of patients in one go.

Earlier this month, Redbridge patient Anna-Maria Everett, 57, finally saw a neurosurgeon about her two herniated discs after a ten-month wait.

She was one of 119 patients to attend a one-day spinal review clinic on June 12, helping to prepare patients for surgery.

 She said: “Everyone was amazing and it was fantastic that it was a one-stop-shop as it means I don’t have to wait again. It was well worth it.

“It has been frustrating having to wait during the pandemic, however, everyone is in the same boat and the NHS has been under so much pressure. I have so much respect for how hard they are working.”

The trust’s neurosurgery team receives around 200 referrals a week, of which more than three quarters require treatment by a specialist surgeon.

Next month, BHRUT plans to hold a “super surgery” weekend, to operate on many of the patients seen during the day-long clinic.

Consultant neurosurgeon Ahmed Sadek said the trust hoped to be able to use the “one-stop-shop” strategy “to help maintain reduced waiting times for years to come”.

On Monday June 21, the trust launched a week-long “Bones R Us” drive, focusing on orthopaedic procedures, with doctors performing 11 operations on the first day.

A similar project held in October last year saw 250 patients operated on over the course of a week.

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter