Why You Might Be Asked To Travel Outside Of Your City For Surgery

People who remain on the waiting list for health treatments are being asked whether they are prepared to travel to receive treatment.

NHS England is set to “virtually eliminate” the list of those who have waited more than two years for treatment, the chief executive has said, as patients are given the option to be treated more quickly at hospitals in different parts of the country.

Of course, this plan will do little to help those without access to transport, those who need to juggle healthcare alongside care responsibilities, and those on zero hours contracts or self-employed, who need to take limited time off work to avoid pay losses.

The number who have waited for two years or more to receive treatment has fallen from a peak of 22,500 in January to 6,700, after the Covid-19 pandemic caused waiting lists to mount.

People who remain on the waiting list are being asked whether they are prepared to travel to receive treatment. More than 400 have agreed, with 140 booked in for surgery at a different hospital.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “As part of the biggest and most ambitious catch-up programme in NHS history, staff are now on track to virtually eliminate two-year waiters by the end of July.

“But the NHS will not stop here, from delivering one million tests and checks through our newly rolled-out community diagnostic centres to new state-of-the-art same-day hip replacements, staff are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to treat patients quicker, especially those who have been waiting a long time.”

The NHS has said it will cover travel and accommodation costs to patients “where appropriate”.

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