NHS waiting lists: Inside the staggering number of patients waiting to be seen – data

Dr Hilary Jones slams those trying to sue the NHS

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GP surgeries and hospitals have a significant workload to handle on top of growing Covid hospitalisation rates, as people struggle to receive the appointments they need. The backlog has left them without urgent surgeries or diagnoses for severe illness for the length of the pandemic, up to a year. Startling figures have now expressed that backlog in the clearest terms yet.

NHS official data shows one in 10 people are languishing on a waiting list.

That total translates to 5.8 million people currently awaiting operations.

And 300,000 of whom have spent a year or more waiting for their turn.

The mountain in front of the NHS is currently the biggest since records began.

Urgent referrals face similar delays, according to the same data.

Only three of England’s 107 Clinical Commissioning Groups met the 62-day referral target for first treatment.

The struggle extends beyond routine operations to emergency response times.

Victims of emergency health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes now wait far beyond the recommended attention window.

Ambulances, per NHS recommendation, should aim to reach people within 18 minutes.

But the average has far increased since the pandemic, forcing some to wait three times longer than this.

The new reported average wait is 54 minutes, an increase of half an hour from the 2019 average of 24.

People awaiting attention from A&E faced similar delays.

Data from October showed more than 30 percent of people admitted to hospital faced waits exceeding four hours for a bed.

The proportion marks a three percent increase from September and a two-year increase of 12 percent.

The burden on health officials has stretched services to “breaking point”, with their safety hanging in the balance.

Covid remains the primary aggravator, with hundreds of people admitted to hospital every day.

The latest available ONS data shows that on November 7, a further 868 people required hospital treatments for COVID-19.

That adds to the latest reported total of 8,767 currently in hospital as of November 10.

Nearly an eighth of those currently require ventilation treatment, approximately 1,008.

And in total, hospitals across the UK have accepted 584,198 people since the pandemic began.

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