From Daily Mail: The NHS waiting list has hit another record high with almost 4.4 million people now waiting for routine treatment.
For a third month running the figure has risen to a new high, increasing by a quarter of a million people between February and May alone.
Other statistics also revealed by NHS England today show the number of A&E patients stuck on trolleys waiting for an inpatient bed has increased by 70 per cent in a year.
Health leaders said the next Prime Minister must tackle the problem or risk ‘chaos’ in the health service.
With waiting times at A&E departments worse in May and June this year than in the run-up to Christmas, it has been feared the NHS is now in a ‘year-round-crisis’.
The Royal College of Nursing Director in England, Patricia Marquis, said the total 4.39 million waiting list did not come as a shock. ‘This is no surprise when NHS England themselves attribute the delays highlighted in the monthly waiting time statistics to “continued staffing and bed pressures”,’ she said. ‘A new Prime Minister will have no alternative but to get a grip on this situation.
‘Today’s statistics show that whether it’s a hospital treatment, a cancer diagnosis or care or a simple GP appointment, patients are having to wait longer and longer.
‘With one in ten nursing posts currently vacant in England alone, the situation will not change unless the NHS manages to recruit more staff.’
The waiting times refer to patients who are waiting for routine but important operations such as joint replacements. Those included in the 4.39 million on the waiting list are the ones who have been referred for surgery by a specialist but have not yet had the procedure.
May’s figure was around 90,000 higher than April’s. The rise, from 4.3 million to 4.39 million people. In comparison, a year ago there were 4.09 million people on the list, and two years earlier it was 3.81 million.
More than 1,000 patients have been waiting more than a year for their treatment – however this figure has slowly been decreasing over the past few months.
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