Patients in poorer areas wait longer for treatment

Areas of deprivation in England have seen waiting lists on average increase by more than half (55.2%), compared to a third (36%) in the least deprived areas, according to research by the think-tank The King’s Fund, with the national average increase at 42%.

As well as having higher waiting lists, patients are also likely to have to wait longer on the lists in areas of deprivation. Although the number waiting more than one year for treatment has increased across England, the King’s Fund analysis showed that 7.29% of those in deprived areas had been waiting longer than a year, compared to 4.02% in the least deprived areas. This means that on average you are 1.8 times more likely to experience a wait of more than one year if you live in one of the most deprived areas.

Commenting on the analysis, Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, noted how important support from central government and local health systems will be to work through the backlog in a way that is tailored to meet the needs and tackle the inequalities within the communities they serve.

Full story in The Lowdown, 2 October 2021