NHS waiting list reaches record 4.7 million after Covid pandemic

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NHS waiting list hits record 4.7 million after Covid pandemic … with nearly half a million patients waiting a YEAR for treatment

  • Doctors say the NHS has ‘fallen for years’ after the backlog of those waiting more than 12 months reached 387,885 – an increase from just over 1,600 a year ago
  • By February, more than a million patients had waited more than six months
  • Experts warned that chronically ill people had ‘reached the limit of their stamina’
  • More than 5,000 wait a year for potentially life-saving heart surgery

Hospital waiting lists have hit a record 4.7 million – with nearly 400,000 patients waiting a year for treatment.

Doctors say the NHS has “ declined for years ” after the backlog of those waiting more than 12 months was 387,885 – an increase from just over 1,600 a year ago.

According to the latest figures from the NHS England, more than a million patients had waited more than six months by February.

Experts warned that chronically ill people had “reached the limit of their stamina,” with more than 5,000 people waiting a year for potentially life-saving heart surgery.

File photo of an NHS hospital ward. Doctors say the NHS has “ declined for years ” after the backlog of those waiting more than 12 months was 387,885 – an increase from just over 1,600 a year ago.

Millions faced “a year of uncertainty, pain and isolation” pending surgery, the Royal College of Surgeons said. It warned that investments “on a scale last seen in the 2000s” would be needed to get back on track.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson pledged to make sure the NHS gets “all the funding it needs” to address the backlog.

The Prime Minister urged people to make arrangements and get the treatment they need, saying: ‘We’ve already put about £ 92 billion extra into the NHS this year and we’re going to do whatever it takes. But the NHS has done an incredible job so far. I have no doubt they can address this too. ‘

Figures from the NHS England showed that 152,642 people were hospitalized for routine treatment in February, up from 285,918 in February 2020 – a 47 percent drop.

In the same month, 327,663 patients had waited more than six weeks for an important diagnostic test, such as an MRI scan or ultrasound.

The numbers came when emergency admissions rose to 503,913 last month – up from 427,968 in March 2020. The relapse in non-Covid care coincided with the latest wave of the pandemic with 140,000 patients hospitalized with the virus in January and February. – 35 percent of the 400,000 coronavirus patients treated since the pandemic.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England, said treatment of Covid patients “inevitably had an impact,” but staff “managed to perform nearly two million surgeries and procedures in the face of the winter wave.”

Sister Helen Golding monitors a patient's observations in a ward of Nevill Hospital in Wales

Sister Helen Golding monitors a patient’s observations in a ward of Nevill Hospital in Wales

However, Sarah Scobie, of think tank the Nuffield Trust, said, “ With waiting lists now reaching their highest number since the records began, it is clear that the NHS has been on the decline for years as it struggles to overcome these major backlogs. deferred care.

“Returning to pre-March activity levels will not be enough to meet demand, and we will continue to live with coronavirus for years to come.”

The Society of Acute Medicine said the pressure is “high and growing despite the decline in the number of Covid cases.”

Dr. Nick Scriven, the body’s immediate former president, said: “ It is becoming increasingly clear that people with chronic illnesses, such as heart failure, struggled with community care during the pandemic, have now reached the limit of their endurance and are now in need of hospitalization. ‘

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