One in 50 NHS patients has now waited a year or more for a scheduled surgery due to treatment delays caused by coronavirus.
The NHS England data released today shows that 83,000 patients (2.1 percent of the total) referred for routine surgery have not received treatment 52 weeks later.
Most affected are people waiting for hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, or the removal of painful kidney stones.
Statistics also show that the number of those waiting more than 18 weeks for elective surgeries is at a 12-year high and more than two million Britons are overdue.
Hospitals struggle to get through the many patients waiting for surgery because they stopped all non-emergency treatments for months during the crisis. They are still only running at a fraction of their usual capacity.
There are currently four million people on waiting lists for elective surgery, but NHS leaders expect that number to climb to a record 10 million by the end of the year.
One in 50 NHS patients has now waited a year or more for a scheduled surgery. The number of those waiting more than 18 weeks for elections is at a 12-year high. More than two million Britons are now overdue
Waiting times for A&E have also decreased again as more and more people turn up for treatment. Most A&E departments were bare earlier this year because people were either too scary to come in case they caught Covid-19 or because they didn't want to burden the NHS
The NHS data shows 3,097 people waited a year or more for routine surgeries in early March.
That number had risen to 83,203 by July, after doubling every month since March, and is likely to have continued to rise in the month and a half since then.
NHS surgeons only work 50% due to Covid-19
NHS surgeons are only around 50 percent busy after the Covid-19 pandemic, despite a record number of people on the waiting list for routine treatment.
Professor Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, announced that surgeons "didn't have much to do" during the lockdown as routine surgeries were canceled to make way for an expected swarm of Covid-19 patients.
However, they are struggling to get back to pre-coronavirus activity levels even though there are hardly any infected patients in the hospital. Surgeons say infection control measures and a lack of testing have left them unable to attack the residue.
Professor Mortensen told The Telegraph, "Most surgeons would say productivity is about half what it was before."
He told the newspaper that there were obstacles in restoring services to pre-Covid-19 levels, which experts say will be needed to clear the backlog. Health bosses fear that up to 10 million patients will wait for treatment by winter.
A lack of routine testing for NHS staff is hindering efforts to create “covid-free” zones in hospitals, he said.
And doctors have previously warned that social distancing in hospitals will result in fewer patients being admitted at any given time.
And the number of patients who waited more than four months is the highest on modern records, with more than half not receiving treatment during that time.
As of July this year, after 18 weeks, 2.15 million Brits had not been treated, up from 1.85 million in July.
It's the largest waiting list for 18 weeks since August 2007 when it was 1.8 million.
Waiting times are expected to increase in the coming months as hospitals enforce stricter infection control measures.
This means that only a limited number of patients can visit clinics or stay on wards, and theaters need to be cleaned more thoroughly between procedures so that fewer operations can take place.
Official statistics show that waiting times for A&E have also decreased again as more and more people report for treatment.
One in ten people waited four hours or more to be seen in the A&E departments in England this August.
However, this had been cut to just one in 15 in May when most A&E departments were exposed because people were either too creepy to come in if they caught Covid-19 or didn't want to burden healthcare.
On average, only 75,000 patients reported for emergency treatment each month during the lockdown.
Now the number of visitors is normalizing again. 160,000 will go to A&E in August – just over 50 percent of the annual average.
For comparison: around this time last year, more than a quarter of a million patients were admitted to the emergency room.
Gbemi Babalola, senior analyst at The King & # 39; s Fund think tank, said, "The long waits for care highlighted by these numbers are a timely review of the challenges NHS services face when they do up and running again and the backlog of patients who need support.
“Significant efforts are being made to treat and support patients, e.g. B. more virtual consultations and the redesign of waiting rooms and clinical areas to reduce the risk of infection.
"The reality, however, is that many NHS frontline workers are physically and emotionally exhausted from the pandemic. New safety restrictions mean that some treatments and procedures take longer, and there is evidence that patients are reluctant to take some personal NHS care. Services. " , a phenomenon that is likely to persist once infection rates rise again.
"Right now, the nationally set targets for restoring NHS performance seem very ambitious."
“The NHS staff are working hard to restore the services to full capacity and help is available when people need urgent care and treatment. At the same time, there needs to be honesty about what is achievable and the recognition that long waits for routine diagnostic and surgical procedures are likely to remain in the traditionally challenging winter months. "
NHS waiting times are expected to increase significantly in the coming months as hospitals enforce stricter infection control measures.
This means that only a limited number of patients can visit clinics or spend the night in wards and theaters need to be cleaned more thoroughly between procedures, so that fewer operations can take place.
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