Health

Nearly 140,000 sick Brits have waited more than a year for an NHS operation


NEARLY 140,000 sick Brits have been left languishing for over a year for an NHS op – more than 100 times as many as 12 months earlier.

It is the highest number of long-waiters for over 12 years – with Covid blamed for widespread cancelation of non-urgent procedures.

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NINTCHDBPICT000594968782Credit: Getty Images – Getty

NHS data shows 139,545 patients were left waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment in September.

It compares to 1,305 the year before – a 107-fold rise.

The total number of patients admitted for routine ops in hospitals in England was also down 27 per cent in September compared with a year ago.

But it is in an improvement on the previous months.

The year-on-year decrease recorded in August was 43 per cent, and in July the drop was 55 per cent.

Medics warned it was “tragic” that thousands of Brits have been left in pain with their lives on hold.

‘HEAVY PRICE’

Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: “Thousands of patients who were already waiting for surgery when COVID struck, have paid a heavy price.

“Each statistic represents someone waiting patiently, potentially in pain, for the treatment they need to get on with living an independent life.”

NHS data also shows 1.72 million people were waiting more than 18 weeks to start treatment in September.

It is more than double the figure for the same month last year when 672,112 patients were delayed that long.

 

A spokesperson for the NHS, said: “It is clear that where there are higher levels of Covid we are seeing an impact on routine non-urgent care, so the public can play their part by continuing to help stop the spread of the virus.”

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A total of 420,445 patients were waiting for key hospital tests, such as MRI scans, ultrasounds or gastroscopy – up more than ten-fold from the year before.

NHS bosses claim 80 per cent of planned overnight ops are now went ahead in October, as well as 100 per cent of CT scans and 88 per cent of MRIs.

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund, said: “With nearly 140,000 people now waiting over a year for care and the worst of winter yet to come, it’s clear the NHS won’t be back to ‘normal’ any time soon.”

Hospital bosses have urged the chancellor to pump an extra £4 billion into the NHS to help with the Covid crisis.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, NHS Providers said: “Trust leaders are deeply concerned that if the spending review fails to allocate the extra money to fund extra capacity in 2021/22, the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of their patients is at risk.”

Birmingham hospital cancels all planned procedures after ‘significant rise in very sick Covid and non-Covid admissions

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