NHS waiting lists could double to 12 million by 2025 despite billions more in taxpayers’ cash being pumped into our hospital wards, a damning report has concluded.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said millions of patients had missed out on vital care during the pandemic – and could now return to the health service to increase the backlog.
The number currently waiting for NHS care already stands at a record 5.83 million. But the NAO warned this could double to 12 million in a little over three years.
Its report also warned the health service was falling dramatically short on all key targets – including cancer care – with the ‘catastrophic’ consequences costing lives.
A damning report suggested Boris Johnson’s controversial new ‘health and social care levy’ would be inadequate to prevent hospital waiting lists continuing to soar
And it suggested Boris Johnson’s controversial new ‘health and social care levy’ would be inadequate to prevent hospital waiting lists continuing to soar. The report is likely to add to fears the NHS will swallow up almost all of the money from the new levy in the coming years, leaving little for the collapsing social care sector.
Today’s study by the NAO – an independent watchdog that scrutinises public spending for Parliament – provides the most in-depth assessment to date of the horrifying legacy of the pandemic on non-Covid care.
Even under its best case scenario, the NAO said the number of people in England waiting for routine care – currently at a record 5.8 million – will increase to 7 million in 2025.
But if the NHS were to perform activity at pre-pandemic levels, this would actually reach 12 million by 2025 – meaning one fifth of the population was caught in the backlog.
Experts warned if the Omicron variant leads to more disruption and lockdowns this winter there will be an ‘even bigger mountain to climb’. The report said up to 9.1 million patients missed out on referrals for elective care, saying ‘millions have avoided seeking or been unable to obtain healthcare during the pandemic’.
NHS waiting lists could double to 12 million by 2025 despite billions more in taxpayers’ cash being pumped into our hospital wards, the report has concluded
Many were put off seeking help due to the Government’s ‘stay at home message’, while others had vital operations and appointments cancelled as hospitals dealt with an