Waiting List Challenges Growing Concern For NHS, England

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Commenting on the monthly performance statistics of the NHS in England, the Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, Tim Gardner, said that although the winter pressure has gone on to ease, the present data goes on to show immediate and emergency care still happens to be feeling the strain. The fact is that over 42,000 patients go on to spend more than 12 hours in A&E before being given a bed in April 2024. Apart from this, 1 in 10 people with a serious condition like chest pain or even a stroke had to wait for more than an hour for the ambulance to reach them.

Gardner added that there are some positive signs as well in the cancer area gamut, but by way of following several months of growth, the total March 2024 waiting list has gone on to remain largely flat. Less than expected referrals in the specialist care domain mean that the fall in the waiting list was mainly driven by very few patients joining the list and not because more happened to be treated.

The fact is that the waiting list as of now happens to be 7.5 million, which includes 310,000 who have waited over a year. Although one can see that there are indeed massive efforts put in by the staff, the point is that there is still a long way to go.

Lesser than expected referrals on the NHS waiting list may as well be a symptom of pressures that are present in general practice and also of capacity constraints as far as secondary care is concerned.

The Health Foundation projections have gone on to find out that another 700,000 working age adults are going to be living with major illnesses by 2040 due to much of this increase due to the conditions that are managed in primary care. This data is a further reminder of the requirement to go ahead and invest in the most deprived areas with a long-term approach in mind so as to enhance the health service.