Almost Five Million People Waiting to Start NHS Hospital Treatment in England Alone

The number of people waiting to start hospital treatment has risen to 4.95 million in England alone, according to the latest NHS figures. “It’s the highest number since records began back in August 2007,” Sky News reports.

The Express and Star has more.

Data from NHS England also showed that the number of people having to wait more than a year to start hospital treatment stood at 436,127 in March.

This is the highest number for any calendar month since August 2007, when the figure was 578,682.

In March 2020, the number having to wait more than a year to start treatment was significantly lower at 3,097.

This record again highlights the disruption caused to the nation’s health by a year of lockdowns and the NHS’s focus on Covid. The number of people admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was up 6% in March 2021 compared with a year earlier – but for many, lockdown has already taken its toll.

The Express and Star report is worth reading in full.

Stop Press: The NHS is to receive £160 million to help tackle this backlog. The Guardian has the story.

Hospitals will use the money to buy mobile CT and MRI scanning trucks, put on extra surgery in evenings and at weekends, and look after patients at home in “virtual wards”…

NHS England has designated groups of NHS trusts working together in 12 parts of the country as “elective accelerators”. They will be given up to £20 million each if they manage to carry out 20% more planned activity – diagnostic tests, operations and outpatient appointments – by July than they did at the same point in 2019-2020, before the pandemic struck.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press 2: NHS consultants are asking for a “minimum 5% pay rise” and have produced a glossy brochure setting out their case. “After a year in which the NHS has experienced its greatest crisis, and in which consultants have been leading on the frontline since day one in the fight against COVID-19, it is time that consultants were rewarded fairly for the vital clinical leadership they bring to the NHS,” it says. No mention of the ~20% of all people hospitalised with Covid having caught the disease in hospital.

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