Responding to NHS statistics on the growing backlog of care, Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research, Reform think tank, said:
“The number of patients waiting for more than 52 weeks for treatment jumped 33 per cent between July-August. This means that an extra 28,000 individuals face future ill health or disabilities, due to delays in their treatment. This is unacceptable and requires urgent attention.
“While some progress is being made on median waiting times, at 54% the NHS is well under its target of 92% of patients starting treatment within 18 weeks.
“A pragmatic approach to this capacity issue is now urgently needed. Local health teams need to lead the response by reorganising resources and creating specialist centres to deal with particular procedures, repurposing Nightingale facilities, and extending contracts with private providers.”