Trust leaders are deeply worried about the size of waiting lists
26 April 2021
- Today, Labour called for an NHS rescue plan, focusing on the recovery from the pandemic.
- Their new research highlights the increase in size of waiting lists over the past 12-months.
- Jonathan Ashworth, shadow secretary of state for health and social care, pledges to use upcoming NHS legislation and votes in parliament to call for action from government.
- Labour is also calling for a pay rise for NHS staff, and for more capital investment.
Responding to the Labour Party's calls for an NHS rescue plan, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery:
"This new analysis by the Labour Party is concerning, and is further indication of the extent of the impact of the pandemic on the health service, which is not yet clear.
"Trust leaders are deeply worried about the size of waiting lists, not just for operations and diagnostic testing but for all types of care including mental health services.
"Despite how quickly trusts are working to deliver for all patients, there are signs that tackling the backlog could take between three to five years on current trajectories.
"The NHS will need a "bold transformative approach" and additional investment from the government. We recently set out five required elements:
- increase physical and workforce capacity
- specific steps to tackle pinch points, such as investment in a new network of community diagnostic hubs
- NHS efficiency and productivity gains, often through improved collaboration
- reconfigure hospitals to deal with future waves of COVID-19 and winter pressures to avoid disruptive
- rapidly adopt new ways of treating patients, specialty by specialty such as using new technology solutions in ophthalmology where the waiting lists are some of the longest.
"Additionally, while we have welcomed the increase in the amount of capital that has been made available to the NHS by the government, we agree that further investment is needed to modernise the estate and address urgent repairs. Disrepair has impacted the response to the pandemic, such as affecting how trusts operating in outdated estates reconfigure their facilities, and in some cases led to patient safety issues.
"On recognising staff through a pay reward, we are awaiting the independent recommendations from the pay review body processes for agenda for change staff and doctors. Trust leaders would support review bodies were they to suggest a bigger pay rise than suggested by the Department of Health and Social Care last month. We hope that the government accepts and funds any recommendations made, particularly given that there will be no room for trusts to fund these themselves while dealing with increasing demand and backlogs of care."