Uncovering the ‘devastating impact’ of Covid on NHS services | the society

Increasing numbers of patients have to wait more than a year for surgery because Covid has disrupted hospital care so badly NHS Show performance statistics.

The significant increase in the number of people facing a delay of at least 52 weeks in having an operation comes amid warnings that access to treatment will take years to return to normal.

In October, 162,888 people arrived in England It may have waited over a year for a non-urgent scheme, even though the assumed maximum waiting time is 18 weeks. This was the largest number of patients forced to wait in all this time since October 2008.

The total was 123 times more than 1,321 such cases that were present in October 2019 and 23,343 (16.7%) were up from 139,545 cases in this situation just one month ago. Jonathan Ashworth, the health secretary in the shadows, said the one-year increase in waiting times was “amazing”.

“Quite frankly, the number of patients waiting for more than a year to seek care is now 123 times higher than last October. These are patients in pain and distress who need treatment,” said Dr. David Wrigley, Vice President of the British Medical Association Council.


Professor Neil Mortenson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, said that people awaiting surgery often are in pain and unable to continue their normal lives. “These waiting time numbers indicate the devastating impact Covid has had on the broader NHS services. Waiting lists for planned treatment were already swaying when the virus first appeared. It has made the situation worse several times.”

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Hospitals Most elective surgeries canceled when the first lockdown began in March, with a significant backlog for people in need of care. Although the NHS worked hard in the summer and early fall to make up for their missed work, many patients still faced long delays.

David Maguire, chief analyst at King’s Fund, said the impact of Covid-19 on wait times will still be felt for years to come. Despite the best efforts of the employees, the backlog simply does not exist. ”

The latest monthly performance figures for the NHS in England also show:

  • 1.533 million people in October had been waiting for treatment for more than 18 weeks.

  • Only 65.5% of patients were seen within 18 weeks in October – well below the target of 92%.

  • 4.44 million people are waiting for treatment in hospital, the second highest number on record

  • Fewer people are attending A&E, possibly because they are too afraid to go to hospital due to Covid, although more admitted patients face a 12-hour wait on a cart.

An NHS spokesperson said: “During the summer, some expected waiting lists to reach 10 million by Christmas. But thanks to the work of the NHS staff, the waiting list is still lower than it was at this time last year, and the average waiting times for planned care. That have been shortened over the past month. “

The Macmillan Cancer Support Center has welcomed the fact that more cancer patients or suspected cancer patients were referred for testing and treatment in October than in September.

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However, Sarah Bainbridge, head of policy at the charity added: “The truth is that tens of thousands of people still miss a cancer diagnosis as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus.”

“Cancer treatment and referrals are now much higher than usual levels, with more than 200,000 people being referred for screenings in October and nearly 180,000 people starting treatment since the height of the epidemic,” a NHS spokesperson said.

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