More than 60,000 people waiting for hospital treatment in June

·3-min read
NHS England figures show 64,265 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of June
NHS England figures show 64,265 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of June

TENS of thousands of patients were waiting for routine treatment at Oxford University Hospitals Trust in June, figures show.

The Nuffield Trust said there would not be any let up for the NHS in dealing with the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic and that the "broken and overstretched care system" continues to hinder staff's best efforts.

NHS England figures show 64,265 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the end of June – up from 61,718 in May, and 47,742 in June 2021.

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Of those, 1,293 had been waiting for longer than a year.

The median waiting time from referral at an NHS Trust to treatment at Oxford University Hospitals Trust was 10 weeks at the end of June – the same as in May.

Nationally, 6.7 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of June.

Jessica Morris, fellow at the Nuffield Trust health think tank, said the NHS has had success in clearing the vast majority of two-year waits, but added that this will "not provide any let up for NHS staff".

Ms Morris said: "The NHS may have overcome the first hurdle, but as new figures show the mountain to climb to clear the total waiting list keeps getting bigger.

"Staffing shortages and ongoing pressure from covid-19, and a broken and overstretched care system, continue to slow down how quickly the NHS can work through this major backlog."

Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in June – the same as in May.

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At Oxford University Hospitals Trust, 14,732 patients were waiting for one of 14 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

Of them, 962 had been waiting for at least six weeks.

Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund think tank, said: "The intense pressure on NHS and social care services has barely featured in the Conservative party leadership race, yet the new prime minister will inherit a health and care system in a state of steady crisis.

"Ensuring patients can access the care they need will require urgent and sustained action.

"If the next prime minister fails to prioritise action to shore up health and care services, they can expect the NHS and social care to slide even deeper into crisis."

The Department of Health and Social Care said it is making progress in "busting the covid backlogs" and has rolled out over 90 community diagnostic centres, which have delivered over 1.5 million checks.

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A spokesperson added: "The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS and we are hugely grateful to staff for their tireless work."

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