NHS waiting lists: One in eight patients in some areas waiting over a year for treatment

  • Analysis reveals “stark postcode lottery” with Manchester and Brighton hardest hit by waits of one year or more
  • 15% increase in year-long waits across the country, despite government pledge to end them by 2025
  • Lib Dems warn patients are being left waiting in limbo and the NHS is “on its knees”

One in eight NHS patients in some areas of England have been waiting a year or more for treatment, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The party said the figures revealed patients are facing a stark postcode lottery, with waits of a year or more far more common in some areas than others.

Trafford was the worst affected area with over one in eight (13%) patients who had been on an NHS waiting list for a year or more, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the country. This was followed by Manchester (13%), Brighton and Hove (10%) and Stockport (10%). Sunderland had the fewest waits of one year or more in the country at just 0.8%.

Solihull and West Birmingham had the highest number of year-long waits of any NHS local area, with 16,365 on an NHS waiting list for a year or more, making up 8% of the total. This was followed by Devon with 13,629 year-long waits.

On average, one in twenty patients in England on an NHS waiting list have been waiting for one year or more. This amounts to 385,022 people waiting a year or more to start treatment, up 15% compared to last year. It comes despite a government pledge to eliminate the number of patients waiting more than a year by March 2025.

Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak promised that NHS waiting lists would fall, instead they keep rising with thousands of people left waiting in pain for the treatment they need.

These figures reveal a stark postcode lottery, with some areas seeing more than one in eight patients who have been stuck on an NHS waiting list for a year or more.

The government’s failure to get to grips with soaring NHS waiting times is causing untold suffering and damaging our economy by leaving people too sick to return to work.

The NHS is on its knees after years of Conservative neglect. Ministers have to take responsibility for tackling these unacceptable waits for treatment, instead of blaming everyone but themselves.

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One Comment

  • A comprehensive, long-term plan to inform people of how to prevent and deal with many ailments would go some way to reducing these waiting times. If every appointment was medically necessay it would help patient and staff morale and improve outcomes. For a start we could all improve our diets, increase our exercise and drink more water.

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