UK

Five MILLION people on waiting list as data shows North England hospitals delayed 40% of surgeries

The Pandemic post code lottery: Five MILLION people on NHS waiting list as data shows North of England’s Covid-hit hospitals delayed 40% of surgeries during first 10 months of crisis

  • Analysis shows the Midlands and north were worst hit by covid in first 10 months
  • Five million people await hospital treatment in England in record breaking stats
  • Comes after NHS trusts warned in April that it may take up to five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog of patient care as a result of the pandemic

Hospitals based in northern England and the Midlands have been the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures looking into the NHS backlog of non-covid care. 

An analysis of hospital records from the first 10 months of the pandemic shows there was more disruption to health care settings in the Midlands and the north than in the south and east, according to The Times

It comes as five million people await hospital treatment in England, the highest figure since records began. 

Patients who had their operations abandoned in the wake of the pandemic last year may be forced to continue waiting until 2022 (pictured – a hospital setting) 

Patients who had their operations abandoned in the wake of the pandemic last year may be forced to continue waiting until 2022.    

According to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Harvard University and Imperial College London, Yorkshire and Humber recorded the biggest drop in admissions for planned surgery, with the number of operations 40 per cent lower between March and December 2020 than the previous year. 

In that area alone, there were 309,000 fewer admissions. 

Next hardest hit by the pandemic were the east and west Midlands, where admissions fell by 39 per cent and 37 per cent respectively. 

The northwest of the area experienced the biggest fall in admissions, with around 467,000 operations being postponed or cancelled.   

In total, there were more than 17 million fewer outpatient appointments. 

The data shows that admissions are down across the board in England

The data shows that admissions are down across the board in England 

An analysis of hospital records from the first 10 months of the pandemic shows there was more disruption to health care settings in the Midlands and the north than in the south and east (Pictured, NHS staff nurse walks through a ward)

An analysis of hospital records from the first 10 months of the pandemic shows there was more disruption to health care settings in the Midlands and the north than in the south and east (Pictured, NHS staff nurse walks through a ward)

Yorkshire and Humber shared the biggest drops in emergency admissions with London, both down 24 per cent, followed by the West Midlands. 

According to the most recent NHS data, 385,490 people have waited more than a year to start hospital treatment. 

The figure is around 35 times the number in April 2020, when it stood at 11,042.  

Researchers believe the statistics are down to there being more covid patients in hospital in the north and Midlands, who have less capacity than health boards and trusts elsewhere in the UK.           

In April, NHS trusts warned that it may take up to five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog of patient care.   

NHS Providers, which represents NHS hospitals and mental health, community and ambulance services in England, previously said the worst-hit trusts in England are three to five years away from returning to pre-Covid levels. 

At the time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured)  insisted the Government would ensure the NHS has what it needs to tackle waiting lists.

At the time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured)  insisted the Government would ensure the NHS has what it needs to tackle waiting lists.

At the time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the Government would ensure the NHS has what it needs to tackle waiting lists.   

‘We do need people to take up their appointments and to get the treatment they need,’ he said.

‘We’re going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs, as we have done throughout the pandemic, to beat the backlog.’

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