More than 100,000 people on the NHS Leicestershire waiting list, new data shows

More than 100,000 people were on the waiting list for NHS treatments in Leicestershire at the end of last year.

According to new data from the NHS, 112,141 people were waiting for a treatment at the end of November 2021, which is the equivalent of approximately one in ten of the city and county population.

The number has grown steadily in recent years – most likely due the coronavirus pandemic – with the total having hit almost 70,000 in November 2019 and 80,098 in November 2020.

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The target is for 92 per cent of patients to be treated within 18 weeks. In November 2019, that was achieved only in 82 per cent of cases.

However, in November 2021 that dropped further to 52.3 per cent, meaning just under half of those had been waiting for treatment for more than 18 weeks.

The new data also shows that, at the end of November last year, 14,097 people had been waiting over a year for their treatment – exceeding November 2020’s figure of 4,869.

In November 2019, just one person was in this category.

In April last year, NHS England started publishing the number of people who had been waiting for more than two years for treatment.

In Leicestershire, there were 137 people in that situation in April 2021, rising to 1,383 by November 2021.

The waiting list across England as a whole hit six million in November, the highest number since records began in August 2007.

One in 20 people nationally – the equivalent of more than 300,000 patients – had been waiting more than a year for treatment.

In April 2021, 2,608 people had been waiting for more than two years for treatment, which soared to 18,585 by the end of last year.

LRI, Leicester Royal Infirmary main pedestrian Entrance.
14,097 people have been waiting for more than a year for treatment, which has been heavily delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic

NHS England was expected to publish a blueprint on Monday, February 7 to reduce waiting lists for non-urgent treatment in England after the pandemic.

But the plan has since been delayed, with reports the Treasury had refused to sign off on the proposals amid concerns about value for money.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid insisted the publication of the blueprint had been pushed back due to the Omicron surge in December and rejected claims of tensions at the top of Government.

Mr Javid told Sky News: “We will publish the plan shortly.

“What I would say about the Treasury is that I couldn’t wish for a better partner when it comes to the challenges I have. I don’t recognise that at all.”

“Having been chancellor, having a close relationship with the Treasury, having a strong partnership for any department is crucial and right now for health and care I am just really pleased we have got that really good working relationship.”

Dr Chaand Nagpaul British Medical Association council chairman, said many of those on the waiting list would be suffering in pain, with a real risk conditions worsening with further delays.

He said: “The Government has a moral duty to these patients to urgently lay out exactly how it plans to address this record backlog and ensure they get the treatment they need.

“For doctors, who are desperate to provide the best care they can for patients, they will be waking up this morning incredibly concerned to hear that vital funding for the NHS is being held up once again.

“The Government has been promising this plan for months now, and while the arrival of Omicron may have delayed this, healthcare staff now urgently need to know how leaders expect them to tackle the backlog in the months and years ahead, and crucially, provide resources to help them do this.”

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Leicestershire Live – Leicester News