Waiting times for routine surgery ‘getting worse’

Posted on: September 15th, 2016

Number of patients waiting over 18 weeks rose by 79.5% in 2015

Waiting times for elective surgical procedures in England are getting worse, according to a report by the Patients Association.

The total number of patients waiting over 18 weeks in 2015 reached 92,739, up from 51,388 in 2014.

Excluding the figures for bariatric and gender operations, which the organisation did not collect last year, this represents an increase of 79.5%.

Average waiting times for five procedures – hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia, adenoid and tonsillectomies – are above 100 days. This represents the highest average waiting time in the six years that data has been collected by the Patients Association.

Adenoid operations had the longest average waiting time at 110 days, with a rise of around 15 days from 2014 to 2015.

The report found that 77% of trusts are failing to notify patients of their rights under the NHS Constitution when the 18 week limit has been missed.

Trusts cancelled an average of 753 patient surgeries on the day in 2015, with equipment shortages and/or lack of beds the most common reasons.

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