NHS running three races at once
10 June 2021
- The elective care waiting list has increased to 5.12 million, the highest level on record.
- Trusts are now carrying out 95% of elective care activity against the 2019 baseline, exceeding the target of 75% set out by NHS England and NHS Improvement in the 2021/22 planning guidance.
- 52 week waits have decreased for the first time in 24 months (50,637 fewer) – now at 385,000.
NHS Providers' chief executive Chris Hopson was interviewed this afternoon on Times Radio. Summary comment below:
"One of the consequences of the pandemic has been that a lot of operations were delayed, but it is a very positive sign that the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks has fallen significantly.
"This reflects the huge amount of work going on to tackle the backlog because trust leaders understand only too well the distress and pain that can be caused by these delays.
They are having to run three races at the same time, bearing down on the backlog, coping with increased demand for emergency care and dealing with the continuing threat from COVID-19.Chief Executive
"They are having to run three races at the same time, bearing down on the backlog, coping with increased demand for emergency care and dealing with the continuing threat from COVID-19.
"And don't forget they are doing this with reduced bed numbers because of enhanced infection control measures.
"We understand the government has a really difficult decision to take over COVID-19 restrictions, balancing NHS concerns alongside other factors including the economy and personal freedoms.
"For that reason it's important that the government acknowledges and considers carefully the risks and trade-offs involved in deciding what to do next."