British life-style: More than 300,000 people had been waiting for treatments for more than a year

11:30 20.06.2024 •

Hospital waiting lists have risen for the first time in seven months, with the NHS also slipping further from its target on cancer treatments, ‘The Daily Mail’ informs.

Around 6.33 million patients were waiting for 7.57 million treatments by the end of April in England, up from 6.29 million patients and 7.54 million treatments at the end of March.

Whatever the cause, it will come as a mid-election campaign blow to Rishi Sunak, who had vowed to reduce waits.

Official NHS performance data shows more than 300,000 people had been waiting for more than a year, compared to less than 2,000 before the pandemic.

And more than one in 10 patients now spends more than 12 hours in A&E, with the four-hour waiting time target not met since July 2015.

Tim Gardner, assistant director of think-tank the Health Foundation, said the figures show the next government will face ‘an uphill struggle’.

‘With both Labour and the Conservatives promising big improvements in NHS waiting times, today’s figures are a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge,’ he said. ‘The waiting list for routine hospital care remains at near record levels, having virtually tripled over the last decade.’

NHS waiting lists have been a major talking point for political leaders in the run up to July's General Election.

Rishi Sunak vowed to tackle the number in January 2023, but the list hit a record high in September, with 6.50 million patients waiting for 7.77 million treatments.

The Prime Minister admitted: 'We’ve not made as much progress on cutting waiting lists as I would have liked.'

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: 'This has blown a hole in Rishi Sunak’s claim that the NHS has turned a corner.

'He promised to cut waiting lists, but they are 350,000 longer today than when he became Prime Minister.

'He can’t blame NHS staff – there were no strikes last month yet waiting lists still rose. The blame lies solely with the Conservatives.'


…‘Around 6.33 million patients were waiting for 7.57 million treatments by the end of April !’


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