Responding to the latest NHS performance figures out today showing a record 6.6 million people are waiting for NHS treatment, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said:
“With NHS waiting lists at another record of 6.6 million it is clear that whoever becomes Prime Minister in September must make busting the NHS backlog one of their first priorities in office.
“The backlog is now not only a health crisis but increasingly an economic one given that over half of all people waiting for NHS treatment are of working age.
“The independent sector is a vital tool in the NHS’ armoury to increase activity and drive down patient waiting times, however analysis continues to show that in the vast majority of specialties the NHS is currently using the independent sector less than pre-pandemic, despite patients waiting ever longer for treatment.
“Bringing down waiting times is the public’s number one priority for the NHS and we need urgent action to ensure 2022 does not become a ‘lost year’ in which NHS waiting lists keep growing while independent sector capacity goes unused”.