News and media

No. of people waiting over 18 weeks for treatment rises by one third

Date of publication: 10th Jan 2019

Categories: Latest news

In response to NHS England’s latest performance figures showing the number of people waiting longer than the 18 week target for elective care has risen by over one third in the last 12 months to 528,000 patients at the end of November 2018, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said:

“These latest figures demonstrate yet again the desperate lack of elective capacity in the NHS with patients having to wait unacceptably long periods for vital procedures such as hip operations and cataracts – causing significant pain and disruption to their lives.

“This week’s NHS Long Term Plan contained some welcome commitments on cutting waiting times for elective care, notably by offering patients a choice of provider with a clear statement that independent sector capacity should be used to improve access to care.

“In light of today’s figures, it’s critical that these welcome words in the Plan are now translated into real changes on the ground that benefit patients across the NHS.”

– The number of patients waiting over the 18 week referral to treatment target has increased by over one third in the last 12 months from 392 000 in November 2017 to 528 000 in November 2018.
– The number of people waiting for more than a year for elective surgery has increased by almost 70% in the last 12 months, from 1452 at the end of November 2017 to 2432 patients at the end of November 2018.
– The Government’s target to ensure 92 per cent of patients wait no longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment for elective procedures, such as hip and knee operations, has not been met since February 2016.