Regardless of the lengthy ready lists, the variety of individuals admitted for routine hospital therapy was down by 47 per cent in February in contrast with a 12 months earlier, illustrating the continuing impact of the pandemic on providers.
The figures additionally present 174,624 urgent cancer referrals have been made by GPs in February, in contrast with 190,369 a 12 months earlier than – a year-on-year drop of eight per cent. This follows a year-on-year fall of 11 per cent in January, however a rise of seven per cent in December 2020.
Pressing referrals the place breast most cancers signs have been current – although not initially suspected – have been down from 13,627 in February 2020 to 12,199 in February 2021, a fall of 10 per cent.
Sarah Scobie, director of analysis on the Nuffield Belief suppose tank, stated: “With ready lists now on the highest quantity since data started, it’s clear that the NHS has been set again years because it faces a battle to clear these main backlogs of postponed care. Returning to the degrees of exercise seen earlier than March final 12 months is not going to be sufficient to fulfill demand, and we are going to proceed to stay with coronavirus for years to return.”
The information present that just about 330,000 sufferers had been ready greater than six weeks for a key diagnostic take a look at in February. A complete of 327,663 sufferers have been ready for one in all 15 customary checks, together with an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy, NHS England stated. Emergency admissions to A&E departments additionally rose final month, to 503,913 from 427,968 in March 2020.
The Society of Acute Drugs stated that stress on the NHS was “excessive and rising”, regardless of the autumn in Covid circumstances.
Dr Nick Scriven, a former president, stated: “Folks with power sickness, reminiscent of coronary heart failure, have struggled on all through the pandemic with neighborhood care however… now want hospital inpatient care. It’s crucial to rebuild face-to-face groups in the neighborhood as a matter of urgency, as these are invaluable for sufferers with power illnesses.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s nationwide medical director, stated: “Treating 400,000 sufferers with Covid-19 over the course of the final 12 months has inevitably had an influence on the NHS, however it’s a testomony to the onerous work and dedication of employees that they managed to ship virtually one million ops and procedures within the face of the winter wave and enhance ready occasions for them, together with A&E and ambulance providers.”
NHS England additionally stated February noticed 22,000 individuals start therapy for most cancers, in step with February 2020, whereas the 174,000 individuals referred for checks was twice as many as in April final 12 months.