NHS fail­ing to meet surgery tar­gets

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Giles Sheldrick

MIL­LIONS of pen­sion­ers are wait­ing months for ur­gent hip and knee oper­a­tions as the NHS strug­gles with de­mand, lat­est fig­ures show.

Pa­tients are wait­ing longer for hos­pi­tal treat­ment af­ter a GP re­fer­ral – with around one in 10 now hav­ing to wait more than the pre­scribed 18 weeks for surgery.

The num­ber of pa­tients wait­ing longer than the max­i­mum limit for nonur­gent hos­pi­tal treat­ment has now reached the high­est in al­most a decade.

Lat­est of­fi­cial fig­ures show 500,068 waited more than four-and-a-half months – the high­est fig­ure since Au­gust 2008. With just 87.5 per cent of pa­tients seen within 18 weeks in April, the Gov­ern­ment’s 92 per cent tar­get has not been met since Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Royal Col­lage of Sur­geons vice pres­i­dent Ian Eard­ley said: “It is very dis­tress­ing, for some­one who is liv­ing with a painful con­di­tion to have to wait a long time for treat­ment.”

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