Millions waiting for care because of pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people having their operations, treatment and appointments cancelled or delayed.
The NHS had to postpone non-urgent elective care treatment when the pandemic hit, freeing up inpatient and critical care capacity. While this helped medical staff respond to the crisis, it has resulted in a huge backlog of people waiting for treatment. The latest data shows that the number of people waiting for routine operations and procedures in England is at its highest level since 2007 – currently at 5.45 million.
Impact of delayed treatment
The impact of delayed treatment can be huge, potentially leaving you in pain and affecting both your physical and mental health. It can even stop you working and performing day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning, shopping and caring for others.
If you’re not getting enough support to manage your health while you wait for care, then that’s not acceptable.
What could be improved?
It’s essential that while you wait for treatment, you get support to manage your health and wellbeing in a way that is best for you. If you need hospital treatment, you should be receiving advice and information from the NHS about how to look after your health while you wait. You should be kept informed about the dates of your treatment and where you are on the waiting list.
Share your views to help people waiting for care
It’s vital that decision makers hear your experience of waiting for care as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent backlog. Whether it’s gynaecological surgery, a knee replacement or a biopsy you’re waiting for, if you’ve got a story to tell, we’re here to listen. Everything is confidential and will help Healthwatch England understand what needs to be put in place to better support people waiting for treatment like you. So, whether your experience is good or bad – please share it.
Help us to help the NHS better support people like you by completing Healthwatch England’s short survey and telling them your experience of waiting for care.
Take the survey at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SQVSJO