NHS told to target long operation waits

  • Posted

Posted 04/08/2014

Sophie Bales 1397332448_sophiebalesCPX.jpg

The BBC reported that NHS in England has been ordered to prioritise patients who have endured long waits for routine treatment.

The NHS is meant to see 90% of patients who need non-emergency operations, such as knee and hip replacements, within 18 weeks.

Ministers want to see more than 100,000 procedures carried out during the summer on those who have waited longer than 18 weeks. There are nearly 200,000 in that situation, 65,000 of which have been waiting for more than half a year and over 500 for more than a year.

Those who have waited longest will be prioritised for treatment.

Ministers conceded it may mean performance against the waiting time target slipping. They said the patients who have waited the longest tend to be the most “complex and difficult” to treat.

Sophie Bales, a Medical Injury Solicitor at Ashtons Legal comments:

“It is positive that patients who have had long waits for treatment are now being prioritised. However, this will mean that more patients will have to wait longer for an operation because the government is effectively rationing care. This will compromise patient care and demonstrates the increasing pressure on NHS resources”.


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