Home Health & Wellness New Figures Reveal 18% of Patients Have Waited Over a Year for Treatment

New Figures Reveal 18% of Patients Have Waited Over a Year for Treatment

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Disappointing new figures from the government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal an alarming 18% of NHS patients waited 12 months or longer after their referral for a hospital appointment, an important test, or to start receiving treatment.

Carrying out between 18th October 2023 and 24th March 2024, the survey reveals that 20% of patients aged 30-64 had been waiting over a year. A leading expert says this must not be allowed to continue.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, says, “Ouch! These figures make difficult reading. Swift diagnosis and treatment are often absolutely essential to ensuring successful outcomes for patients. Instead, many people are waiting a considerably long time for a hospital appointment, a key test, or to start their course of treatment.

“It’s even more shocking that, 18 months after their initial referral, a further 9% of adult patients were still waiting for a hospital appointment, a test, or to start receiving medical treatment from the NHS.

“In all, 25% of Brits surveyed were waiting for treatment between October and March. Those aged over 65 formed the highest group, with 34% of this age group waiting for NHS services.

“Very concerningly, 11% of patients from mixed ethnic groups were still waiting 18 months or more after their referral for treatment.

“Whichever party wins, these figures highlight the challenges the next government faces in restoring the public’s confidence and faith in the NHS.

“Let’s look at the UK guidelines to see the gap between waiting list targets and reality:

  • In England, 92% of patients should not wait longer than 18 weeks from referral to treatment
  • In Scotland, 95% of patients should be seen within 12 weeks of referral and 100% of patients should wait no longer than 12 weeks for treatment as an inpatient or day case
  • In Wales, 95% of patients should start treatment within 26 weeks of referral
  • In Northern Ireland, 50% of patients should wait no longer than nine weeks for an outpatient appointment, 55% of patients should wait no longer than 13 weeks for an inpatient or day case admission, and no patient should wait longer than 52 weeks.

“It seems these targets are being routinely missed – and by a country mile. At the same time, our analysis shows Government spending on healthcare actually fell in real terms, when accounting for inflation, over the past two years.

“For people concerned about easy access to healthcare, it’s useful to know that revolutionary new blood tests introduced in the last few years mean people have swift access to a vast array of information about their own health through a simple finger-prick test, which can even be taken in their own home.”

For example, London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health. It includes muscle and bone profile, liver & kidney function, the risk of diabetes (by checking levels of HbA1c), cholesterol and iron levels, and even the risk of gout.

London Medical Laboratory’s general health profile blood test can be taken at home through the post or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see here.

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