Responding to the latest NHS performance stats published today, David Furness, Director of Policy at the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said:
“With today’s figures showing the largest NHS waiting list on record at 5.3 million and well over 7.5 million “missing” people from the list who will need treatment, the time has come for the government to set out a clear plan on how patient access to NHS care will be restored.
“The scale of the challenge is enormous and whilst healthcare staff have continued to work tirelessly to get services back on track, there were over 200,000 fewer treatments or appointments delivered in May this year than in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit – a fall of 15% – highlighting the scale of the challenge facing the NHS.
“Dealing with this backlog at a time when admissions from Covid-19 are rising once again means that it’s vital that the NHS ‘leans on’ the independent health sector for support and makes greater use of their capacity to ensure that planned operations and tests can continue.
“With the public consistently stating that bringing down waiting lists is their number one priority for the NHS, people need to be reassured that the Government is doing everything possible to tackle this significant challenge head on, which is why the time has come for a clear plan from government setting out how the huge care backlog will be tackled.”