BBC Radio Berkshire enquiry: 13.04.15
The current Referral to Treatment (RTT) time for ophthalmology at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) is widely recognised as less than satisfactory. Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are working in partnership with the trust, NHS England and Monitor on a recovery plan to improve RTT performance in this speciality.
The majority of ophthalmology patients who've experienced a Referral to Treatment time in excess of 18 weeks at RBH are waiting for treatment of cataracts where the clinical risk is low. All patients have been clinically reviewed and weekly reporting of RTT times is now in place, together with a patient-by-patient review of the longest waits. Berkshire West CCGs, together with NHS England, have temporarily increased funding to help clear the current backlog.
The Royal Berkshire Hospital have been open and transparent about their RTT performance from the outset. The CCG's role as commissioner and critical friend to the trust has ensured that the right remedial measures are in place. We're pleased that the recovery plan is already paying dividends, and we expect that national RTT targets for ophthalmology will be met by October this year.