‘Mountain’ waiting list will need five-year plan, says royal college

The HSJ reports that the Royal College of Surgeons has said that the NHS will need a five-year strategy to deal with a “mountain” of an elective waiting list following the coronavirus outbreak.

The elective waiting list already stood at 4.4 million patients before the outbreak, the highest figure since the referral to treatment pathway began in 2007. Then all elective procedures were suspended for at least three months as hospitals have retrained and redeployed staff to treat covid-19 patients.

NHS England asked trusts to suspend all non-urgent elective operations so the NHS has the capacity to cope with a surge in critically ill patients. Many trusts had already implemented such a policy, with HSJ recently reporting more than 40 per cent of acute beds are empty.

Full story in The HSJ, 15 April 2020