Government failure on pledge to cut NHS waiting lists

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In an interview on TalkTV, Rishi Sunak admitted that the government has ‘not made enough progress’ to reduce NHS waiting lists. He also stated that industrial action has had an impact.

Reducing the number of patients on waiting lists for NHS treatment was one of the five key priorities of his leadership, and this has failed.

Patients around the country are waiting months and encountering endless delays for treatment, which is resulting in ongoing struggles and daily difficulties.

The number of people waiting for NHS treatment reached an estimated 7.61 million in November 2023, up from 7.21 million in January 2023.

More and more patient’s lives are being put at risk and there is no quick fix.

While waiting lists of more than 18 months, 15 months and 12 months have fallen since the start of 2023, the number of people waiting more than 18 months has begun to increase again.

This ties in with the announcement of ‘Pharmacy First’ scheme that Pharmacies can now offer treatment for seven common conditions that patients would usually see a GP for, with the aim of freeing up GP appointments. While this appears to be a move in the right direction to alleviate pressures on GPs, only time will tell if appropriate advice and treatment are provided to patients accessing health services via their local pharmacy.

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