North East London CCG has awarded an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) community service in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest (TNW) to NHS provider, Communitas Clinics. Waltham Forest currently has one of the highest wait times in England:
Areas with the worst long waits (number per 100,000 waiting over the year)
- Castle Point and Rochford – 573
- Southend – 461
- Blackpool – 450
- Waltham Forest – 422
- Norfolk and Waveney – 419
Source: BBC News
The award given to Communitas Clinics is for a nine-month pilot contract to support Covid recovery and enhance the long-term ENT service across a population of 968,000 living within these three boroughs.
Patients will be offered a single point of access through referral from their local GP. Referrals will be triaged with the aim of maximising community treatments for Tier 3 ENT patients, allowing Barts Health to concentrate on high-complexity cases.
In addition, as part of the major recovery effort needed to restore local NHS services and reduce the waiting times for ENT treatments affected as a direct consequence of the pandemic, Barts NHS Trust is to outsource a review of its waiting list backlog to Communitas Clinics. This collaboration will identify patients who can safely be treated outside of hospital, reducing waiting times for those suitable for treatment in the community. It will also support increased capacity at Barts NHS Trust hospitals and an increased focus on other cases including cancer and surgical care.
The service provision from Communitas Clinics aims to:
- reduce the waiting list backlog and average waiting list time for patients in the TNW footprint for ENT services
- provide a sustainable ENT service for the TNW footprint based on best outcomes for patients
- develop an effective standardised pathway across TNW to improve patient access to ENT services in the community/closer to patients’ homes
- ensure patients are seen in the most appropriate care setting and by the right clinician first time
- lessen referral rates into the acute service and avoidable hospital appointments
- improve access to ENT services and streamline pathways to enable faster management of care
- develop a multi-professional learning strategy for upskilling local GPs and implement an education programme across TNW.
Communitas Clinics’ Managing Director, Christian Lyons says “We are delighted to be awarded this contract which gives us the opportunity to improve the wait times and outcomes of ENT patients in the East London population.
“Communitas Clinics already provides similar NHS services across London and the South East and we’ve been able to maintain wait times of two to three weeks.
“The whole team is really looking forward to mobilising this new service, bring the wait times down and make a real difference to ENT patients experiencing discomfort and the risk of further complications.”