Waiting lists reach record 5.8m people in England

A total of 5.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September, according to figures from NHS England. This is the highest number since records began in August 2007. Many hospitals are now only able to cope with people coming through emergency departments, the NHS Confederation chief has said.

Pressure had built up primarily because people who had chosen not to come forward for treatment were doing so now, said Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the confederation, which represents many organisations that commission and provide NHS services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nine in 10 NHS chief executives, chairs and directors reported in a survey to the confederation this week that the pressures on their organisation have become unsustainable. The same proportion is sounding alarm bells over staffing, with the lack of doctors, nurses and other health workers putting lives of patients at risk.

Full story The Guardian, 11 November 2021