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NHS waiting list hits record high

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A new high of 6.4million people in England were waiting for routine NHS treatment in March 2022 as emergency department wait times of 12 hours hit an all-time high last month and emergency services continued to struggle.

This is up from 6.2 million in February and the highest number since records began in August 2007.

A new record 24,138 people had to wait more than 12 hours in emergency rooms after a decision to admit them was made in April.

The number has risen from 22,506 in March and is the highest for any calendar month since August 2010.

However, the number of patients treated within four hours in April improved compared to March, with 72.3 percent of patients treated during that time compared to 71.6 percent.

The latest NHS data shows ongoing battles for emergency services across the country as figures show average response times for potentially life-threatening conditions such as stroke were 51 minutes and 22 seconds in April.

This is less than an hour, one minute and three seconds in March, which was the longest recorded time for this category of operations. These calls should be answered within 18 minutes.

Ambulance response times for urgent calls such as late births averaged two hours and 38 minutes in April. This is down from a record three hours and 28 minutes in March.

The Government and NHS England have set themselves the target of eliminating all waiting times of more than two years by July 2022 and waiting times of more than one year by March 2025

The data shows an improvement in the number of people waiting longer than two years, at 16,796 from February’s 23,281.

The number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment stood at 306,286 in March in England, up from 299,478 in the previous month.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said: “Today’s figures show that our hard-working teams across the NHS are making good progress in tackling the backlog that has accumulated with a record number of diagnostic tests and cancer screenings in March part the most ambitious catch-up plan in NHS history.

“We always knew the waiting list would initially continue to grow as more people who may have held back during the pandemic come in for treatment, but today’s data shows that the number of people waiting longer than two years has fallen for the second month in a row, and wait times of more than 18 months have fallen for the first time.

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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-waiting-list-england-high-b2077293.html NHS waiting list hits record high

Bobby Allyn

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