Backlog Grows As Nearly One In Eight People Stay On Hospital Waiting List
Newly released data from NHS England shows that there were 6.84 million people on the waiting list at the end of July. Numbers have not been this high as there were 4.2 million waiting for treatment before the pandemic.
Although there were little improvements in emergency care with ambulance and A&E waits decreasing, both services are still far off from meeting their targets.
Nearly 3 in 10 people waited more than four hours in A&E in August while ambulance staff continue to struggle with responding to 999 calls within their target times.
These figures have now shown the might of the challenge facing new Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Health Secretary Therese Coffey.
Ms Liz Truss has promised to put the NHS on a "firm footing" with the government expected to unveil a new health service plan next week. The plan will cover England only as health is devolved.
Chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, Nigel Edwards, a health think tank said that following the release of the new figures, the government faces a monumental challenge, adding that the new prime minister inherited an NHS in critical condition.
The data released also included information on the number of persons on two-year waits which the government had said it would eliminate by the end of July.
As at January, there were over 22,000 people who had been waiting more than two years and almost 50,000 others were getting close to that mark.
As it stands now, nearly 2,900 people have been waiting more than two years but NHS England says that most of these cases were people who decided to wait or were complex cases that needed more time to access them further.
NHS England medical director Prof Sir Stephen Powis said the reduction in the two year waiting list showed that "significant progress" was being made.
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