Are more patients likely to 'go private'?
Over the last year the NHS has increasingly contracted with private sector hospitals in order to increase patient choice as well as to assist with managing waiting lists. However, those patients confronted by the increasing NHS waiting lists will inevitably be encouraged to look at other options in order to get their treatment sooner.
“With today’s figures showing the largest NHS waiting list on record at 5.1 million and over 65,000 now waiting more than 18 months for treatment, the time has come for the Government to urgently set out a clear plan on how patient access to NHS care will be restored.
“Despite the heroic efforts of healthcare staff to get services back on track, there were almost 170,000 fewer treatments or appointments delivered in April this year than in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit – a 13% fall - highlighting the scale of the challenge facing the NHS.
“With the public consistently stating that bringing down waiting lists is their number one priority for the NHS, people need to be reassured that the Government is doing everything possible to tackle this significant challenge head on.”
The main findings reported are as follows:
At the end of April 2021, 64.6% of patients waiting to start treatment (incomplete pathways) were waiting up to 18 weeks, thus not meeting the 92% standard.
The number of referral to treatment (RTT) patients waiting to start treatment at the end of April 2021 was 5.1 million patients. Of those, 385,490 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks.
For patients waiting to start treatment at the end of April 2021, the median waiting time was 11.0 weeks. The 92nd percentile waiting time was 48.7 weeks.
During April 2021, 1,495,260 patients started a new RTT pathway (new RTT periods or clock starts).
During April 2021, 223,780 RTT patients started admitted treatment and 933,478 started non-admitted treatment (completed pathways).
Patients can't wait.