The hidden dangers of NHS delays for Birmingham

author image - oliviah

By Oliviah Rix-Taylor

on Wednesday 31 January 2018

NHS Birmingham

Soaring waiting times in A&E departments across England are impacting on patient care, and Birmingham is no exception.

With rising care costs, unprecedented patient numbers and nursing shortages, delays on the NHS are the norm for those not opting for private health care, but there could be a more serious threat than the stifling boredom of the waiting room.

What could delays mean for you?

Delays in treatment could result in the following;  

  • Loss of earnings due to continued absence from work
  • Symptoms worsening
  • Illness spreading to other areas of the body
  • Illness progressing into terminal stage

We have looked at Birmingham’s performance against NHS targets to see how they fare, so you can get an idea how their performance may be impacting your health. 


Birmingham NHS Hospitals

Accident and Emergency

TARGET- 95% of patients to be treated, admitted or referred within 4 hours. This target remains the same when waiting times increase to eight and twelve hours 

Birmingham NHS Hospital Performance For A&E 4 Hour Deadline



Figure.1 March 2017 data from www.england.nhs.

  • In March 2017, only one trust in Birmingham was able to hit this target.
  • The two other trusts were unable to treat over 25% of patients within four hours.

Cancer Care

The NHS in England has varied targets with regards to cancer care. The targets change according to waiting time till the first treatment occurs. The targets also vary according to cancer types.

Figure.2 displays the actual performance of the Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust against the set target levels. The data shows that when the time between referral and treatment is one month (31 days) then this trust meets its targets. However, when that time increases to 62 days only 76% of patients are receiving treatment on time.


Cancer Waiting Times For University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust


Figure.2 April 2017 data from www.england.nhs

Figure.3 shows the performance on the 31 day waiting time in cancer care by type of cancer. Patients needing treatment for Urological (Urinary tract) cancer were those that fell below the target the most, suggesting that the demand for specialists was causing delays.

Cancer waiting times per cancer type (31 days) University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust


Figure.3 April 2017 data from www.england.nhs

The representation of the patient numbers in the following graph (Figure.4) highlights lung and ‘other’ types of cancer as the type least able to meet the target on cancer care.

Cancer waiting times per cancer type (62 days) University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust


Figure.4 April 2017 data from www.england.nhs

Planned care for Non-emergency treatment

TARGET – 95% of patients must commence treatment within 18 weeks in England and Scotland.

Patients recieveing treatment within 18 weeks for University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust


Figure.5 Data from November 2017 on www.england.nhs website.

Data from the graph shows that this particular trust fairs pretty well in terms of hitting its target for treating patients within the target time of 18 weeks.


Accident Line Direct

If you think your condition has worsened beyond a reasonable extent due to delays on the NHS then contact Accident Line Direct to discuss making a claim. There is no set guideline for delays in clinical negligence cases but if a solicitor can prove the following, then you will be entitled to compensation;

  • You were owed a duty of care from your healthcare provider
  • That duty of care was breached in an act of negligence
  • That negligence was a direct cause for your personal harm

The way in which medical negligence cases are handled usually refer to something called a Bolam test. This test determines whether other medical professionals would have acted in the same way given your medical case. If they deem that they would have acted differently and that the healthcare provider who treated you acted in an unreasonable way, then you will be owed compensation.

The NHS litigation authority (NHS Resolution)

The NHS litigation authority is a construct of the Department of Health and acts to review and resolve claims made against the NHS, amongst other things. If you were to make a negligence claim against a health care professional then the NHS litigation authority would handle the claim for the defendant (the NHS).

Clinical negligence cases can be complicated and there are several steps involved in receiving financial remuneration. At Accident Line Direct we have a wealth of knowledge and experience of the clinical claims industry at our disposal. Call us today to speak to our advisors for obligation free advice about your clinical negligence case.

0808 1454275

Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!