Doctor in conversation with a patient

More than 200,000 patients waiting over a year for treatment

New statistics released by NHS England have shown that more than 200,000 patients across the country are now waiting more than a year to receive hospital treatment.

Delays to treatment, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, has caused many patients to be facing longer than usual timescales to receive hospital care.

In December 2020, a record 4.52 million patients were on the waiting list.

Responding to the announced statistics, Tim Mitchell, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: “Covid-19 continues to take an enormous toll on hundreds of thousands of people across the country left waiting for an operation.

“The number of people waiting over a year for their treatment is now 150 times higher than in 2019.  Many are waiting ‘in limbo’, reliant on painkillers, and unable to get on with day-to-day family life or work.

“These figures show the impact on the NHS of lifting the November national lockdown. By Christmas some surgeons were facing the awful job of calling up patients waiting for cancer operations, to tell them they weren’t sure when they would have a bed or the staff in place to operate.

“After a gruelling December, we’re beginning to see infection rates coming down in parts of the country, thanks to the January lockdown. However, many staff are burnt-out from what has been a brutal and traumatic year. They will need time and support to recover.

“Looking ahead to spring, we need a ‘New Deal for Surgery’ with investment in hospital beds and staff, to begin to address the massive backlog of patients still waiting for their operations.”

According to the Referral to Treatment (RTT) figures, some 67.8% of patients were seen within 18 weeks in December 2020 - down from 68.2% in November 2020. Largely impacted due to limitations and challenges of the pandemic, these figures fall significantly short of the usual, legal target of 92% of patients being seen within the first 18 weeks.

Here at NHE we want to here your thoughts on how we can overcome the current NHS backlog for patient treatment. Complete our survey to offer your valuable insights to the conversation.

NHE Jan.Feb 21

NHE Jan/Feb 21

Creating a net zero NHS

NHE’s Jan/Feb 2021 edition focuses on the role of pharma working alongside the NHS, how we are working to digitise the health service and the ways in which the NHS can be involved in addressing the climate emergency.

Videos...

View all videos
BMC Whitepaper

Survey

How well do the NHS understand digital potential?

Recently we have been gathering primary data direct from those within the NHS on modernising NHS technology and the challenges faced around resource, training and service management.

Download the full whitepaper and read the full findings in our exclusive report to learn more.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all