The Independent Healthcare Providers Network has responded to NHS performance figures published today (11 May) which show the overall NHS waiting list has grown to a record high, with 7.3m people now waiting for treatment.
David Furness, Director of Policy and Delivery, said: “It is hugely concerning to everyone that the overall waiting list for patients on the NHS is not coming down.
“There’s a real risk that we get desensitised to the very high numbers we are seeing and forget that behind the figures are real people who are waiting too long for diagnosis and treatment.
“There is no doubt that NHS and independent sector staff are working tirelessly. There’s been good progress on reducing the numbers of patients waiting more than 78 weeks for example, but there is still much more to do.
“We must ensure every person on the waiting list can be seen and treated as quickly as possible. This includes making NHS patients aware of their legal right to choose the best provider for their NHS treatment, including partners in the independent sector.
“We hope that the Government’s much-needed elective recovery taskforce will focus on ways that more NHS patients can be made aware of their rights, to help them to get the treatment they need as quickly as possible, and tackle other systemic issues so that more patients can be seen, more quickly.”