The news that a record 6.48 million people are on waiting lists for NHS treatment means more people waiting in pain and worry. A number of healthcare charities have highlighted the plight of patients and urged MP’s to make their cause a priority. Prioritising is difficult given the scale of the backlog, made worse by Covid but also reflecting a decade of underfunding and mismanagement.
The Versus Arthritis campaign shows the long waiting times for joint replacement surgery for a condition which requires early intervention. Services over the last ten years have failed to keep pace with demand.
Breast Cancer Now estimates that 8K people are living undiagnosed with this awful disease and wants a more ambitious screening programme.
Diabetes UK confirm that more than half those suffering from diabetes have struggled to manage their condition during lockdown in an area of medicine which if left untreated proves costly in both lives and money.
Add to those the daily struggle to access GP services where the plan to recruit more GP’s falls well short. There’s a similar picture in dentistry with an estimated 2K dentist quitting the NHS last year. Government investment in dental services has fallen by a third in ten years adding to the problem.
The NHS proposal for patients to travel further for treatment may help some but is unrealistic for many. The truth is that the Government didn’t fix the NHS roof when the sun shone and without a clear long term plan for the NHS workforce the painful wait for many will go on.


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