NHS waiting list STILL hits record high with 5.72 MILLION patients in England queuing for routine procedures – as hospital bosses warn the Covid-fueled backlog won’t be cleared until 2026
- The number of people who had to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment was 292,138 . in August this year
- Nearly 370,000 patients in England waited more than six weeks for an important diagnostic test in August
- A total of 369,086 patients waited for one of the 15 standard tests, including an MRI scan or gastroscopy
The NHS’s waiting list for routine hospital treatment in England has hit another record, official data has revealed, as hospital chiefs warned that the Covid backlog will only be cleared in five years.
According to figures from NHS England, a total of 5.7 million people were waiting for treatment to start at the end of August 2021.
This is the highest number since measurements began in August 2007.
The number of people who had to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment was 292,138 in August 2021, a slight decrease from 293,102 in the previous month, but more than double the number who waited a year earlier, in August 2020, namely 111,026.
Nearly 370,000 patients in England had waited more than six weeks for an important diagnostic test in August.
A total of 369,086 patients waited for one of 15 standard tests, including an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy, according to NHS England.
The equivalent number that waited more than six weeks in August 2020 was 472,517, while there were 42,926 in August 2019 before the pandemic.
The number of patients waiting for routine hospital treatment reached 5.6 million in July, the highest figure since registration began in 2007. 13 million by the end of the year if no action is taken
dr. Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: ‘These data paint a worrisome picture as we move further away from an NHS that can provide the best possible care to everyone who needs it quickly and closer to one that can only focus on those who are most unwell.
Even then it is with a worn-out workforce that has been shattered and there is widespread concern over the winter as the NHS was in a weak position heading into the pandemic and is now rebuilding on the back foot.
“There is no doubt that this poses a security risk and unfortunately many people will wait longer for their care and it will not be delivered to the standards they should expect as the services struggle to cope with the workload.
“The short-term goal should be to focus on those things we know can make a difference and acute medicine is an integral part of both the front and back doors of hospitals, so the workforce needs to be recognized and championed.” .
“Acute medicine has always been at the forefront of developing innovative models of care that improve outcomes and experience for acutely ill medical patients, and we are particularly focused on ensuring that emergency care is used to its fullest on the same day.
“This is a way of delivering quality and efficient patient care while improving throughput and capacity, as we know from our own audit data, and it’s essential that this is supported from above.”