Sajid Javid vows to tackle NHS backlog

Sajid Javid vows to tackle NHS backlog

Sajid Javid vows to tackle NHS backlog. Image: Shutterstock

Sajid Javid vows to tackle NHS backlog as it is estimated that seven million people missed out on regular healthcare during the pandemic.

Sajid Javid, who was appointed as Health Secretary after his predecessor Matt Hancock resigned in disgraced last month, has vowed to tackle the NHS’s backlog created by Covid-19.

“When I came back to Westminster on Sunday morning, I found the biggest in-tray I’ve had at any department – and I’ve run five. I feel both the heavy responsibility and urgency that comes with this job,” Javid wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

“Amid the endless policy memos and reams of data, I see two immediate challenges. The first is how we restore our freedoms and learn to live with (coronavirus) Covid-19. The second is to tackle the NHS backlog – something that we know is going to get far worse before it gets better,” he added.

“We protected the NHS to make sure it was there for everyone who needed care. The steps we took saved countless lives but also led to the build-up of a vast ‘elective’ backlog – checks, appointments and treatments for all the less urgent, but often just as important, health issues.

“Because of the pandemic, we estimate that about seven million fewer people than normal came forward for healthcare. Even if only some of that demand returns, we will see enormous pressure on the NHS,” Javid wrote.

“To help meet this demand, build a better NHS and bust the backlog, we need to build on the changes we’ve all embraced through the pandemic, such as using NHS 111 to direct patients to the most appropriate setting to receive care, expanding the use of our pharmacies and encouraging more people to use the NHS app.

“We have to keep doing all of that, and more. We’re putting record levels of funding into the NHS. In March, we committed a further £7 billion of funding – including £1 billion to begin tackling the elective backlog and about £500 million for mental health services and investment in staff,” he added.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.