Waiting times are getting longer, ( and worse in Wales ) especially for non-acute surgery ( cold orthopaedics is the most common ) and since bed occupancy is getting higher, cross infections and complications will also rise. In other words standards will fall. As it gets worse, YOU are going to have to wait longer and longer – or pay up. Increased funding is needed in the short term, perhaps up to 30% of GDP if we are to reverse the decline in standards, but longer term we have to ration overtly. Patients need to know what is not going to be covered, their options in getting cover, and they also need faith that we have avoided a two tier service for fearful conditions..
The number of patients waiting six months or more for surgery has tripled over the past four years in England, the Royal College of Surgeons has said.
In March, nearly 130,000 people had been waiting for operations after being referred by a consultant, compared with 45,000 in March 2013.
But nine out of 10 patients were still treated within 18 weeks, data shows.
The surgeons said they were concerned that many more patients would wait longer for surgery in the future.
Earlier this year, NHS England boss Simon Stevens said growing pressures in the health service meant he could no longer guarantee treatment within the 18-week target time for operations such as knee and hip replacements.
The Royal College of Surgeons says this is resulting in more people waiting for six-nine months or more for surgery, in specialities such as ear, nose and throat, brain and spinal, and general surgery.
Hugh Pym opines: Whose election promise adds up for the NHS?
and Nick Triggle opines: Conservative manifesto: Why many will pay more for care
Dennis Campbell in The Guardian 1st June: ‘A grim reality’: concern over longer waits for NHS operations
An NHS Improvement presentation leaked to the Health Service Journal (HSJ) estimates a potential rise to 5.5 million