Performance data released by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has revealed a record waiting list in England.
According to the published data, there were more than seven million people on the list at the end of July 2023, who had been waiting for months and months to get treatment.
As a result of this, surgeons have warned that this may lead to further deterioration of the patient’s health.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England president Tim Mitchell said: “With the NHS facing record waiting lists while preparing for yet another difficult winter, the £200m in funding from the government to support services through peak months, alongside £40m for increased social care capacity, is welcome and will help.
“That said, the task remains mammoth, and lives continue to be impacted.”
Data shows that patients have been waiting for treatment ranging from hip replacements to surgery to remove cancerous tumours.
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Mitchell added: “NHS staff continue to do all that they can to reduce waiting lists amid extremely challenging circumstances. The latest jump is disappointing but not unexpected, as increased demand, record staff vacancies, and industrial action continue to hamper recovery efforts.
“Many lives will be impacted by longer waiting times, whether that be through an inability to work while waiting for treatment, suffering in pain, or deteriorating health. Long waits may also lead to the need for more complex operations when patients finally receive treatment.”
He also underlined the importance of making continuous investments in surgical hubs, which are different from emergency services provided in hospitals and allow the continuation of tests and operations in one place, unaffected by rising pressure in other parts of the hospital.