Waiting lists met by sprint for zombie ideas

The most recent NHS England statistics show the numbers in the queue for elective treatment has now topped 6.7 million – more than one in eight of the population – with over 350,000 waiting over a year.

Within this the Telegraph has flagged up the large and growing number of children waiting for hospital treatment, which has risen by almost 50 per cent in a year to a record high of 361,000 – and is now increasing at a rate of 10,000 children per month.

But this is just for acute services. The HSJ in August also revealed a hidden 1 million-strong additional waiting list for even more poorly-resourced community health services, among them

  • 75,000 children waiting to access community paediatric services, “including children needing help with developmental delay, long-term health conditions and additional needs”;
  • 74,300 young people waiting for speech and language therapy.
  • 321,000 adults waiting for musculoskeletal services, mostly physiotherapy;
  • and 120,000 waiting for podiatry.

On top of this there are long delays for children needing mental health treatment and support, including the rising number requiring specialist treatment for eating disorders. Relatively few statistics appear to be collated for timely access to adult mental health services, but the most recent mental health dashboard shows that despite rising demand for support, spending on mental health services as share of commissioning budgets fell back last year to 2018/19 levels.

Full story in The Lowdown, 12 August 2022