fewer operations performed as NHS waiting list reaches 7 million

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By Creative Media News

The waiting list for hospital care in England has reached a record high of 7 million, according to the most recent statistics.

However, the increase is due to the difficulty of hospitals returning to full strength, rather than an increase in demand.

As a result of the pandemic, hospitals perform 12% fewer procedures and other treatments than they did before the outbreak.

Due to a scarcity of beds and personnel, operating theatres were not being utilized, which surgeons described as extremely upsetting.

Fewer operations performed as nhs waiting list reaches 7 million
Fewer operations performed as nhs waiting list reaches 7 million

According to them, it is not uncommon for surgeries to be canceled at the last minute due to a lack of staff or because intensive care and ward beds are filled.

Tim Mitchell, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, stated, “It’s tough on patients and on staff who want to get on with treating patients.”

Without treatment, the patient’s health can deteriorate.

“We must not just return to where we were before the pandemic, but also accomplish more if we are to eliminate the backlog.”

According to NHS England data, a monthly average of approximately 257,500 inpatient procedures, including hip and knee replacements, were conducted during the past year.

This is 12 percent less than the year preceding the epidemic.

Average monthly visits to outpatient clinics, which include minor operations, tests, and evaluations, have decreased by 4% to a little over one million.

The mounting backlog is a result of the struggle to recover services to full vigor, as the number of new referrals for treatment has not increased above the pre-pandemic average.

Waiting list hits 7m
Fewer operations performed as nhs waiting list reaches 7 million

This has astonished many in health care, as it was always anticipated that there would be a substantial increase in demand at this time, considering the number of patients who did not seek treatment when Covid initially emerged.

As a result of the strain on GP services, Mr. Mitchell stated that there is likely to be a substantial amount of hidden demand, with individuals either staying away or fighting to get on the waiting list.

Since late 2018, Marcus Mansukhani has been awaiting a hernia procedure.

Surgery was initially delayed due to his high blood pressure, and then the pandemic further delayed his treatment.

He then required the removal of his gallbladder, which occurred two months ago.

In the interim, his hernia has developed to a size of 4.7in (12cm). It is so large that he struggles to walk in it.

Ms. Mansukhani, 47, from Suffolk, said: “It is quite aggravating.

“Due to discomfort, I do not walk as frequently as I would want. And because it is obvious when I am in public, I have been keeping to myself.

This has a significant impact on both your physical and mental well-being.

Mr. Mitchell stated that a variety of issues continued to necessitate that hospitals provide normal services below capacity.

This included continued disruption by Covid, which was causing both an increase in staff illness and an increase in the number of beds occupied by sick patients, as well as delays in freeing up beds because some patients are unable to be discharged because they cannot access necessary community care.

The NHS in England has been tasked with providing 30 percent more treatments by 2024.

To assist, a network of community diagnostic centers and surgical centers is being built outside of hospitals.

Mr. Mitchell cautioned, however, that there is still a shortage of personnel in certain areas to maximize this investment; he cited challenges with theatre nurses and anesthetists in particular.

And he emphasized that the situation in Wales and Northern Ireland was extremely dire, stating that this was a nationwide problem.

‘Progress is being made

Ministers have cautioned that the backlog in England may not begin to decline until the spring of 2024.

Saffron Cordery, who represents hospitals on behalf of NHS Providers, acknowledged that “there is still a long way to go.”

She added, “Trusts are working tremendously hard to make up for lost progress in addressing care backlogs.”

According to Siva Anandaciva of the think tank King’s Fund, the problems were “fundamentally” related to a lack of resources.

“Compared to other nations, the NHS has fewer physicians, nurses, and hospital beds.

Even the most efficient system in the world can only accomplish so much if it lacks the basic resources it requires.

However, a spokesperson for NHS England stated that the health service was “making considerable progress,” having practically eliminated two-year waits and reducing the number of those waiting 18 months.

She added, “There is now the substantial investment in surgical hubs and diagnostic centers, which will help to protect elective treatments from broader pressures, especially in the coming years, as well as an increased use of technology such as robotic surgery and dedicated day case units, which help to increase the number of elective procedures that can be performed.”

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