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

FOUR in 10 hospital patients said their health had worsened while on the NHS waiting list.

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

The nursing regulator said the NHS was "struggling with a large electoral deficit"


The nursing regulator said the NHS was “struggling with a major electoral backlog”.Photo credit: Getty

A Care Quality Commission survey of 63,000 patients last November found that 39 percent said they had waited too long to be admitted.

41 percent said their health worsened while waiting for treatment.

A quarter – 24 percent – said it had gotten a little worse, and 17 percent said it had gotten a lot 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.”

“This feedback is a testament to the efforts of frontline healthcare professionals.”

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

“More and more people reported that they were waiting too long to be admitted, and four in ten said their health had worsened while waiting for scheduled treatment.”

About 34 percent of people admitted for planned or emergency treatment also said they had to wait too long for a bed after arriving at the hospital, compared to 30 percent the year before.

The number of people who said they had to wait “way too long” increased to 18 percent in 2022, compared to 15 percent in 2021 and 8 percent in 2020.

But most patients remained positive about doctors and nursing staff.

Eight in 10 said they always had confidence in the doctors who treated them, while 82 percent 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 who took part in this survey reported a positive overall experience and high levels of trust in doctors and nurses, the results also reflect the ongoing pressures facing the NHS .”

“In November 2022, when respondents were surveyed, the NHS was treating an average of 5,000 Covid-positive patients in hospital per day and more than 13,500 beds were occupied each day with medically dischargeable patients.”

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

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

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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