Delays faced by patients for common forms of surgery increased sharply last year, with those referred for hernia repairs or removal of cataracts, tonsils or adenoids now waiting about a month longer than in 2010, NHS statistics show.
The waiting time for seven key procedures in England now ranges from 91 days, for gallstone removal, to 107 days, for a knee replacement. In just a year, the average waiting time for cataracts removal rose by a third (24 days) compared with 2013.
The Patients Association, which is publishing the data online on Saturday, said its analysis suggests 50,000 people waited longer than 18 weeks for at least one of the procedures, which also included hip replacement, last year. Under the NHS constitution, everyone has a right to receive elective surgical treatment within 18 weeks after being referred by their GP.
Full story in The Guardian 24 July 2015