Responding to the latest NHS performance stats1 in England which show that planned operations in May fell by 80% compared to the same time last year, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“These latest NHS performance stats show the huge mountain we have to climb in order to resume routine care for patients in the wake of the pandemic.
“Shockingly, planned operations fell by 80% in May compared to the same month in 2019 and the number of people that have been waiting over a year at the end of May for consultant-referred treatment was 25 times higher this year compared to last.
“There are also serious concerns over delays in cancer treatment and referrals with urgent GP cancer referrals at almost half of their usual level compared to last year and 9,000 fewer first cancer treatments than the same month last year. This is extremely distressing for patients and their loved ones who will be anxious to get the care they need as soon as possible.
“Capacity was already a huge issue as the NHS entered the pandemic on the backfoot with record numbers of patients on waiting lists. Now with A&E attendances gradually on the rise again and demand for routine care slowly resuming, the Government must be clear about the scale of capacity required, including beds, workforce, and community care resourcing, to ensure the health service can cope.
“Huge numbers of patients have suffered greatly because of disruption and lack of access to care throughout this pandemic. It is absolutely vital therefore that the Government urgently delivers what is needed to ensure patients can get the care they need as soon as possible and that NHS staff are adequately supported to meet the rise in demand in the coming months and years ahead.
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- Latest NHS performance stats.
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