More than 5.6 million people are on the waiting list: The King's Fund responds to the latest hospital performance data

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Commenting on the latest hospital performance data Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund said:

‘Despite the best efforts of NHS staff, waiting lists for routine NHS care have swollen to levels last seen 15 years ago. There are more than 5.6 million people waiting for care already – often in pain and dealing with the uncertainty of when they will be treated. All NHS services are affected, with primary care, hospital care and mental health services seeing the demand for care rise as the immediate threat of Covid-19 recedes. 
‘Even before Covid-19, waiting lists for treatment had substantially worsened. The significant investment the government has now promised is very welcome but will not lead to an increase in the number of hospital beds or clinical staff overnight. 
‘The Prime Minister is right to warn the public that waiting lists will get worse before they get better. To deliver on his promise to cut the backlog, the government now needs to back the investment it has provided with a plan to ensure the NHS gets the staff it needs.’


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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.