The official NHS waiting list for routine surgery stands at 6.7 million, according to the latest figures which were released in June. However, new figures released after a Freedom of Information request have revealed that a further 10.3 million people are waiting for follow-up care, such as post operative checks, the Daily Mail reports.
The numbers reflect the extraordinary challenges which the health service is experiencing at the moment. There is a built-up level of demand from people who held back from consulting the healthcare services during the pandemic, and in some cases, are now presenting with more serious or complex conditions because of the delay in treatment.
The NHS has also launched the My Planned Care digital platform, which allows patients to access online support and get an update on their waiting times. Patients will be able to check the average waiting times at their hospital, and for their particular area of treatment. They will also receive personalised support and advice on managing their symptoms.
The information will also be shared with care teams, and integrated services, such as social prescribing workers, care co-ordinators, and primary care teams will be able to provide further background support.
The Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, spoke to Times Radio about the record levels of patients waiting for routine surgery, and for follow up appointments or other routine hospital appointments. He said: ‘Unfortunately, given the kinds of pressures that the health service is under, we are having to see appointments cancelled.’
He added: ‘And people who are experiencing health services know that very often we're not able to provide the level of service that we want to provide. And what that reflects is unprecedented level of demand.’
'I speak to health leaders every day and they all say that they've never seen this level of demand – that's not just in hospitals, that's community services, mental health services, primary care.’
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