Routine hospital operations down by two thirds

New NHS figures show that the number of patients admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 67 per cent in June compared with the same time last year.

The statistics also indicate that the number of people going to accident and emergency units in England in July was also down on last year, by 30 per cent.

The NHS England figures also show that the number of people going to their GP with symptoms of cancer and being urgently referred to a specialist is rising but still nearly 20 per cent lower than the same time last year.

Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said: “The NHS is still nowhere close to business as usual following the first outbreak of Covid-19. At the end of June, nearly half of all people waiting for planned hospital care (48 per cent) had waited beyond the 18-week standard – the worst ever performance since the standard was set in 2012. The number of people being referred to specialist care and starting treatment, including for suspected cancer, has increased from last month but remains well below normal levels.
“The NHS made it through the peak of the outbreak, but the consequences for people with conditions other than Covid-19 are becoming increasingly clear. With so many going without treatment or experiencing long waits, there is a risk that the health of people with serious conditions will deteriorate and mean the NHS has to deal with more patients needing care urgently. With the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 looming, the NHS and the government now has a crucial window of opportunity to identify and apply lessons learnt from the first wave. While longer waits for treatment are now inevitable, patients with less urgent conditions must not be left without advice and support while they wait.”

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.