The number of people waiting to receive hospital treatment in England has reached a record high as a result of Covid and lockdowns. Sky News has the story.
Some 4.59 million people were waiting to begin treatment at the end of January, according to NHS England.
It is the highest since records began in August 2007.
The number waiting more than a year was 304,044 in January – the highest for any month since January 2008.
In comparison, the number in January 2020 was just 1,643.
With lockdown in force and many hospitals dealing with record numbers of Covid patients, January also saw a 54% drop in people admitted for routine treatment.
Some 139,378 patients were admitted, compared with 304,888 the same time last year.
More people were receiving pre-planned and emergency care in January 2021 than in April 2020, but the figures still leave much to be desired.
Despite battling the January peak – when more than 100,000 people needed Covid hospital treatment – NHS England said staff still managed to care for 1.3 million people without the virus.
That’s a significant rise on the 847,000 treated during the peak of the first wave in April 2020.
Around 400,000 more people also got pre-planned care and 70,000 emergency care in January compared with April.
Hospitals are now in a much better position to start working through the backlog as the Covid strain has eased significantly since January.
Perhaps more attention should be paid to Professor Karol Sikora’s suggestion that “just one of these endless press conferences [by the Government should] be dedicated to non-Covid related illnesses“.
Worth reading in full.
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