Daily Express

NHS waiting list’s first fall in 12 months

- By Hanna Geissler Health Editor

THE NHS waiting list has fallen for the first time in almost a year – but those needing emergency care still face long delays.

Some 6.44 million patients were waiting for 7.71 million appointmen­ts in October, down from 6.50 million people waiting for a record 7.77 million dates in September.

It marked the first time the total had fallen since November 2022.

Rishi Sunak yesterday blamed the impact of NHS staff strikes for slower than hoped progress on clearing the backlog. The Prime Minister said: “We’ve made progress first and foremost on the longest waiters.


“The thing that has made that difficult is obviously all the industrial action and strikes that we’ve had.”

Mr Sunak said he was pleased a possible deal had been reached with consultant­s but added it was “disappoint­ing” to see junior doctors planning nine days of walkouts during the busy winter months.

He added: “I think what we will see is that actually over the last few weeks that we haven’t had industrial action, people are starting to see progress in bringing down the waiting list. I urge the junior doctors to consider the offer the Government has put forward.

“Everyone else has settled and it’s really on them to do the right thing.”

But patients needing emergency care faced delays. One in three, or more than 28,000, waited over 30 minutes to be transferre­d from an ambulance to A&E last week.

In A&E department­s 42,854 waited over 12 hours from decision to admit to being admitted. Mr Sunak said £1billion of extra funding is helping put more ambulances on the road.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom