Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has attacked the Government as figures from the NHS reveal that patients are waiting longer for hospital treatment after a GP referral – with around one in 10 now having to wait more than the prescribed 18 weeks for surgery.
Figures released by NHS England showed that the number of patients waiting longer than the maximum limit for non- urgent hospital treatment has now reached the highest in almost a decade. Latest official figures released show 500,068 waited more than four and a half months – the highest figure since August 2008.
Currently, the Government aims to see 92% of patients within 18 weeks for surgery and other specialist care – this target has not been met since February 2016. For April, just 87.5% of patients were referred to a specialist for treatment within the prescribed 18 weeks.
Many of the patients are individuals who have been diagnosed with a conditions that requires hospital treatment by a consultant doctor and a high proportion of them will be for operations such as a hip or knee replacement, and more minor procedures.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Many of the patients who are missing out on surgery are pensioners who need hip and knee replacements, as well as treatment for other issues.
“If patients have to continue waiting excessively long periods of time for surgery there is a very real risk their condition will deteriorate and the treatment will be less effective.”