Death terrors every day for half of over-50s, it turns out, thousands still waiting for surgery amid crisis in NHS
- Half of patients over 50 who need surgery suffer from agony every day
- Many are forced to spend over £1,700 a year on pills and physio
- Coming as Sajid Javid warned NHS waiting lists from 5.6 million could rise to 13 million
Record waiting lists have plunged Britain into a pain epidemic, with half of patients over the age of 50 requiring surgery every day.
Many who have long wait times from the NHS have been forced to spend more than £1,700 a year on pills and private physiotherapy, today’s figures show.
Some have sunk into debt to cover costs or have resorted to crowdfunding to advocate for donations online.
Health groups warn that many are ‘suffering in silence’ and feel they have been ‘forgotten’ because the NHS has not informed them of when to receive treatment.
New research shows that half of patients over 50 who need surgery are in pain every day due to the NHS’s longer waiting list
Research by watchdog Healthwatch England plus charities Independent Age and Versus Arthritis exposes the magnitude of the problem as the country recovers from the pandemic.
The findings come after Health Minister Sajid Javid warned that the NHS’s record waiting lists of 5.6 million could reach 13 million.
Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Independent Age, said: “Many older people are in daily pain and experience declining mental and physical health.
“Their waiting for surgery affects their well-being and many feel frustrated and forgotten.”
A survey by the charity found that 71 percent of over-50s report experiencing pain while waiting and 52 percent suffer from daily pain. About 55 percent of this age group awaiting treatment admit that they struggle with daily activities such as washing and cooking.
But the NHS has not helped them manage their condition or pain, 47 percent said.
Meanwhile, more than a third of the over-65s surveyed by the charity have been waiting for treatment for more than a year.
Versus Arthritis found that 54 percent of those with the condition awaiting surgery step outside to relieve their pain.
The findings come after Health Minister Sajid Javid warned the NHS’s record waiting lists of 5.6 million could reach 13 million
It costs an average of £1,739 a year for private health care, over-the-counter painkillers and physiotherapy, according to a charity poll of 2,059 people.
The Independent Age’s survey of 8002 patients found that a fifth of those over 50 waiting for treatment have paid for private health care during the pandemic.
It shows that 54 percent used savings, but 8 percent had to call friends or family and 5 percent had to borrow cash.
Healthwatch England found that 42 percent of 1,675 patients surveyed say waiting affects their ability to work and 54 percent say it harms their mental health.
An NHS spokesperson said staff have used additional resources to cut average waiting times for elective care nearly in half over the past year.
Yesterday, a further 32,417 cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK with 58 deaths within 28 days of testing positive.