Numbers of patients waiting for treatment at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust revealed

The number of patients on the NHS waiting list for routine treatment at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust in March has been revealed in latest figures.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 6:08 am
Numbers of patients waiting for treatment at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust revealed. Photo: PA EMN-210520-234242001

NHS statistics show 19 patients were listed as waiting for elective operations or treatment at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust at the end of March, one more than the figure at the end of February.

It was also up from 11 the year before

Across England the number of people waiting to start hospital treatment rose to 4.95 million – the highest total since records began in August 2007.

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The Royal College of Surgeons described the size of the country’s waiting list as “stomach-churning”, adding it will take many years to deal with the backlog.

They said the task ahead for NHS workers was vast following an “unimaginably difficult year”.

Vice president Tim Mitchell said: “With the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital at the lowest it has been since September last year, the recovery of planned surgery is fortunately now well underway.

“Still, any prospect of chiselling down the waiting list, which is now 5 million people, is premature, because new patients are presenting daily.

“The task ahead is vast and many of the staff that support surgeons to operate, anaesthetists and nurses, are running on fumes after an unimaginably difficult year helping out on Covid-19 wards.”

NHS rules state that patients referred for non-urgent treatments under the care of a consultant should start treatment within 18 weeks.

But the figures also show 436,100 patients on waiting lists across England at the end of March had been waiting for at least a year.

At Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trust, no patients had been waiting this long as of the end of March.

The figures were released on the same day the NHS announced it will spend £160 million on an initiative to find new ways of tackling the vast backlog of care.

Money will be given to hospitals for mobile scanning trucks, to carry out surgery in evenings and at weekends and to provide “virtual wards” where patients can be continually monitored while outside hospital.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief operating officer, said: “The additional support announced today will help us create a blueprint for continuing that progress over summer and beyond, in a way that doesn’t heap extra pressure on staff, so that as many people as possible benefit from the world-class care the NHS provides.”

The investment has been welcomed by the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations in the health service.

But Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the body, said there were “bigger, bolder” moves the Government needed like providing more capital funding to NHS trusts to take to help with demand.