Thousands across Yorkshire waiting more than a year for NHS treatment

Thousands of people across Yorkshire have been waiting between one and two years for NHS treatment, new data suggests.

File photo dated 20/10/2020 of a hospital ward (PA/Peter Byrne)

More than 3,500 people have been waiting between one and two years for treatment at the Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, according to figures from the Labour Party, while approximately another 1,900 have been waiting a similar amount of time at the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, medics from the Society of Acute Medicine have said doctors are treating “vast numbers” of people with non-Covid illnesses as well as many attending hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms.

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Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM), said : “I think it is fair to say we are currently facing an unprecedented summer workload that feels more like the worst winter pressures most of us can recall."

“We are seeing vast numbers of patients with non-Covid illness alongside the steady admission rates of those still very poorly with Covid," he added.

“The types of illnesses we are seeing are typical of winter weather as in a lot of respiratory infections, especially in paediatrics, but also a lot of people where the lack of access to primary and secondary care during the last 18 months could now be contributing to them needing hospital admission.”

Labour are calling for an NHS recovery plan to be put in place before the winter pressures hit.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The last Labour government delivered treatment within 18 weeks for patients. But under Boris Johnson hundreds of thousands of patients are waiting over a year. Enough is enough. The NHS is on its knees and will not cope unless ministers listen to staff and patients. A credible long term NHS rescue plan to deliver quality care is now beyond urgent.

“Patients in pain will be asking whether Boris Johnson’s promises on the NHS are meaningless. Ministers must now take the action needed to prevent people becoming seriously ill, to deliver care on time, and return the NHS to the world class service it should be.”

MP for Hull East Karl Turner described the stats as “hard evidence of the tragic cases I am contacted about every week.”

He added: “There are tragic stories behind every single one of these numbers, of desperately worried patients suffering longer in pain and distress at risk of serious illness or permanent disability.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Our NHS has overcome significant challenges throughout this global pandemic and we will continue to support them to deliver the appointments, operations and treatment people need as quickly as possible.

“We are already providing a record amount of funding to the NHS, with an extra £29 billion this year alone to support health and care services, including £1 billion to help tackle the backlog that has built up during the pandemic.”