NHS capacity problems in England due to Covid to last ‘several years’

NHS leaders have told ministers that they must be honest with the public and tell them that they may face “several years” of waiting longer than usual for treatment because Covid-19 has disrupted so many services.

The health service is facing a “triple whammy” of pandemic pressures involving the recent rise in numbers of people being treated in hospital, a large backlog of patients not treated in the spring and the ongoing drive to restore normal care.

Hospital trusts have been told by NHS England to provide close to full levels of services for people with non-Covid illnesses by October, such as cancer patients and those needing surgery. But the NHS Confederation, which represents health trusts in England, makes clear in a report published on Tuesday that this target is not realistic.

Full story in The Guardian, 29 September 2020