By Laura Kemp • 10 June 2021 • 16:17
THE number of people waiting for routine hospital treatments in England has reached over five million, which is the highest number ever recorded. A total of 5,122,017 people were waiting for treatment at the end of April this year, according to NHS figures, this is the highest since August 2007 when records began.
The numbers have increased every month since May last year when it was 3.83 million, Sky News reports. This means that the amount of people that will have to wait longer than 52 weeks for treatment is approximately 35 times higher than a year earlier.
In April last year, 11,000 people had to wait over a year to begin treatment, however, in April 2021 the number was 385,490.
The announcement comes just days after MPs warned that the National Health System (NHS) and social care staff burnout is at an “emergency” level and presents risks to the future of services. Jeremy Hunt, former health secretary, said that healthcare staff are under “unacceptable pressure” at work.
This morning, Thursday, June 10, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is being questioned over how the government responded to the pandemic following claims from Dominic Cummings that he should be fired.
Hancock hit back by saying: “You can’t respond to a pandemic by pointing fingers.”
Treatments with the longest wait are ones such as hip or knee replacements.
Head of policy and public affairs at charity Versus Arthritis, Tracey Loftis, said that people with arthritis are “bearing the brunt” of the health pandemic.
“It is critical that people with arthritis are not left struggling in pain with their lives put on hold,” Ms Loftis said.
“As longer waits lead to more severe joint damage and reduce the chance of future operations being successful, this issue becomes even more unacceptable.”
Nearly 210,000 urgent referrals for cancer treatment referrals were made by GPs in England in April this year, which is over double the 80,031 made in 2020, NHS England data revealed.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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