Surgery waiting lists worst since 2008
12 February 2021
The latest figures from NHS England show that almost 225,000 people in England have been forced to wait more than 12 months for hospital treatment. These are the highest recorded figures since April 2008 – highlighting further the huge impact the pandemic has had on the NHS.
The month of January 2021 saw hospitals admitting almost a third of all the covid patients they treated since the pandemic took hold in March 2020. The national medical director for NHS England, professor Stephen Powis explained that, “the NHS remains under significant pressure so it is vital that everyone continues to do all they can to stop the spread of the virus by staying at home and following the expert ‘hands, face, space’ guidance.”
In 2020 over 6 million elective treatments were completed and the average waiting time for non-urgent surgery fell by more than 40% between July and the end of the year.
Operation waiting times
The vice present of The Royal College of Surgeons, Mr. Tim Mitchell said that the amount of people waiting over 12 months for treatment was now 150 times higher than it had been in 2019. With hospital staff also facing burn out from the effects of working during the pandemic.
Cancer services recovering
In December 2020 it was reported that just over 200,000 patients received urgent checks by cancer specialists and 25,000 people started treatment. The numbers in line with those seen pre-pandemic.