Access to medical technology
in Southport and Formby among best in the country
PATIENTS in Southport and Formby have
some of the best access in the country to vital medical treatments such as:-
pacemakers, cataract surgery, and hip and knee replacements, a new study by the
Medical Technology Group has revealed.
The report examined data from all 209 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from
across England to find out how effective they are at giving patients access to
It found that NHS Southport and Formby CCG was in the top 10 CCG performers when
measured against the NHS 18 week 'referral to treatment' target and the
NHS Atlas of Variation, which measures how patients' access to NHS services
varies across the country.
The report revealed wide regional variation in patient access to medical
technology and a distinct North South divide, with 9 out of the 10 of the
worst performing CCG's located in the South. In cardiology and cardiothoracic
medicine for example:- figures ranged from 100% of patients receiving treatment
within 18 weeks, in North Durham, while Medway CCG failed to hit the target for
½ of its patients.
Patient waiting times are steadily increasing across all CCGs, the MTG study
found. NHS performance reached a peak in late 2012 when nearly 19 out of 20
patients (94.8%) were referred to a consultant within the 18 week timeframe.
However, in April 2017, the figure had declined to 9 out of 10, with almost
3 times more patients (380,000) waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment
compared with 130,000 in November 2012.
Chair of the MTG, Barbara Harpham, said:- "Delivering high quality
healthcare, no matter where you live, is one of the fundamental principles of
the NHS. But budget cuts and rationing is having a huge impact on the service
patients receive, and the outcome they can expect. This enormous
variation can't simply be explained by the regional differences in populations.
There is an unprecedented strain on the health service and patients are not
being given equal access to the treatment; and most importantly; the technology
they need." The MTG makes seven recommendations to address the issue of regional variation,
including publication of aggregate waiting time figures, so patients can compare
the performance of their local NHS against other regions and inspections of the
worst performing CCGs by NHS England.
Barbara Harpham added:- "Quicker and better access to medical technology
can save the NHS money in the long term, by avoiding complications and
additional treatment and by getting patients out of Hospital and back to work
and into the community. It's time to reassess how medical technology is
commissioned and to call these underperforming health services to account." A copy of the MTG report:- 'The North South NHS divide: how where you
are; not what you need; dictates your care' can be