Record NHS waiting lists left 4 in 10 patients suffering worse health, experts warn | The Sun

FOUR in 10 hospital patients say their health got worse while they were on the NHS waiting list.

A record 7.6million people in England are waiting for treatment or surgery and clinics are "struggling" to bring the backlog under control.

A poll of 63,000 patients by the Care Quality Commission last November found 39 per cent said they waited too long to be admitted.

Forty-one per cent said their health had deteriorated while they were waiting for treatment.

A quarter – 24 per cent – said it got a bit worse and 17 per cent said it was much worse.

Dr Sean O'Kelly, chief health inspector at the CQC, said: "Despite the pressures facing the NHS, the majority of people continue to report positively about their interactions with hospital staff.

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"That feedback is a testament to the efforts of frontline healthcare professionals.

"However, the NHS is struggling with a large elective care backlog and these survey results reflect the impact of that backlog on people who need treatment.

"An increasing number reported that they waited too long to be admitted and four in ten said their health deteriorated while waiting for planned treatment."

Some 34 per cent of people admitted for planned or emergency treatment also said they had to wait too long for a bed once they got to hospital, up from 30 per cent the year before.

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Those that said they had to wait "far too long" increased to 18 per cent in 2022, compared to 15 per cent in 2021 and 8 per cent in 2020.

But most patients were still positive about doctors and nurses.

Eight in 10 said they always had confidence and trust in the doctors treating them, while 82 per cent said they were always treated with dignity and respect – both on par with previous years.

An NHS spokesperson said: “While the vast majority of patients responding to this survey reported a positive overall experience and a high level of trust in doctors and nurses, the results also reflect the ongoing pressures the NHS is under.

"During November 2022, when respondents were surveyed, the NHS was treating an average of 5,000 Covid-positive patients in hospital a day and more than 13,500 beds were occupied by patients medically fit to leave each day.

“Despite ongoing pressures and the impact of industrial action, there have been significant improvements since the end of last year.

"Staff are continuing to ensure those on waiting lists receive support, including any pain relief and mental health advice.”

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