In response to NHS England’s latest performance figures which show that over 3000 people are now waiting more than one year for elective treatment, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said:
“Today’s latest figures once again demonstrate the desperate shortage of elective capacity in the NHS. Patients are having to wait ever longer for vital procedures such as hip operations and cataracts which cause significant pain and disruption if left untreated.
“It’s now been over two years since the NHS last met its target to treat 92% of elective patients within 18 weeks and as the NHS develops its 10 year plan for the health service it must make speeding up access to care a key priority.
“Additional support will be needed to deliver this however, and it is vital that the significant spare capacity in the independent sector is utilised by local areas to ensure patients can be treated as quickly as possible, including through exercising their right to choose the best care provider for them”
- Of patients on the waiting list at the end of May 2018, 88.1% had been waiting less than 18 weeks, thus not meeting the 92% standard.
- The number of patients waiting over the 18 week referral to treatment target has increased by around one third in the last 12 months from in 366,000 May 2017 to 485,000 in May 2018.
- The number of people waiting for more than a year for elective surgery has increased by over 85% in the last 12 months, from 1651 at the end of May 2017 to 3101 patients at the end of May 2018
- In May 2017 there were three trusts that did not report waiting time figures. In May 2018 there were five trusts not reporting figures. NHS England estimates there were 187,485 more people waiting in May 2018 compared to the official total. By contrast the estimate of non-reported people waiting in May 2017 was 162,697.
- 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.