Mounting pressure hinders progress on backlogs

30 August 2023

Responding to figures published by Labour on the number of people who died while waiting for care on the NHS last year, Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"The waiting list has grown by more than three quarters since 2018. Trust leaders are deeply concerned that far too many patients are having to wait too long for treatment.

"Trusts' priority is to cut backlogs, and they have made real progress in reducing the longest waits. They have also boosted their diagnostic, elective and cancer care activity with the introduction of testing and surgical hubs, prioritising clinical need and managing wait lists to reduce health inequalities.

"However, historic underfunding of the health service followed by a pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, workforce shortages and now industrial action have piled enormous pressure on the NHS, making it harder to bear down on backlogs in the way everyone wants to see."