NHS waiting lists have soared to another record high following the wave of strike-induced carnage, adding to the toll of the pandemic years and leaving one in eight people waiting in an NHS queue. The Mail has more.
More than 7.47 million patients in England — the equivalent of one in eight people — are now in hospital queues for routine ops like hip and knee replacements.
This includes 380,000 people stuck in limbo for at least a year, often in agony.
Tens of thousands of procedures have had to be cancelled because of walk-outs by junior doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Health chiefs fear a five-day strike by junior doctors, which began today, will cause even more disruption across the fragile health service and hamper efforts to tackle the ever-growing waiting list.
The British Medical Association’s (BMA) walk-out is the biggest in the history of the NHS.
NHS figures show that 7.47 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of May, up from 7.42 million in April.
It is the highest figure since records began in August 2007.
The number of patients who have faced year-long waits jumped from 371,111 in April to 385,022 in May. Ministers have pledged to bring this figure to zero by March 2025.
Some 11,446 patients had been waiting for more than 18 months – down slightly from 11,477 at the end of April.
The Government had set the target of eliminating this backlog by April, apart from those who have exceptionally complex cases or had chosen to wait longer.
Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said staff have continued to make progress on reducing the longest waits despite strikes, extremely high demand and bank holiday weekends.
It comes as junior doctors – who make up around half of all hospital doctors in England – today walked out as part of a five-day strike that will run until 7am on July 18th.
Just 48 hours later, consultants are set to stage a two-day strike. This rank of senior doctors earn more than £100,000, on average.
Radiographers across 43 NHS trusts will also walk out for two days from July 25th.