Responding to the publication on the monthly NHS performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation said:
‘Today’s data underlines the huge pressure the NHS is under and show that there is still a long road ahead for the NHS in tackling the backlog in routine hospital care.
‘It is good see the number of patients waiting over two years is falling but the overall picture is still troubling. The waiting list for routine hospital care has reached a record high of 6.5 million, of which over 323,000 patients have waited over a year and the wider pressures on the health service show few signs of easing.
‘The prime minister wants to "get on with the job" of delivering on what people of this country care about, but progress on addressing waiting times and the wider recovery is being held back by longstanding staff shortages across health and social care. Funding and workforce go hand-in-hand. If the NHS is to recover from the pandemic and become more resilient it will need significant resources.
‘The NHS is going to huge efforts to clear the backlog but until the government comes forward with a fully-funded workforce plan, efforts to bring down waiting lists will continue to be undermined.’