2021-February-28 19:32
World
2021-January-14  18:12

Report: Almost 4.5mln People Waiting for Hospital Treatments in England Following COVID Backlog

TEHRAN (FNA)- NHS England released its latest hospital waiting figures, and they show that the backlog of people waiting for operations that has been created by the COVID crisis is getting worse.

A total of 4.46 million people were waiting to start hospital treatment in England at the end of November 2020, the highest number since records began, The Guardian reported. 

As PA Media reports, this compares with 4.42 million in November 2019 and 4.45 million in October that year - the previous highest number in the data which goes back to August 2007.

Almost 200,000 people had been waiting more than a year for an operation in November, the figures show. The November total, 192,169, is the highest figure for year-long waits since May 2008. In November 2019 the number having to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment stood at just 1,398.

The total number of people admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 27% in November compared with a year ago. Some 222,810 patients were admitted for treatment during the month, down from 303,193 in November 2019.

On Wednesday, Britain passed a grim milestone, as the number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK passed 100,000 and the daily figure for recorded deaths reached a new all-time high, at 1,564. 

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, was asked about the figures in an interview on ITV’s Peston. On the plus side, he stated that there was evidence that the lockdown measures were working and that coronavirus cases numbers were starting to come down.

He told the programme, "I think the existing restrictions ... are making a difference and you can see that. What we know now - that we didn’t know a few weeks ago - was, would these sorts of restrictions be enough to bring this virus under control with the new variant? And the answer is yes. It looks like it is and things are flattening off, at least in some places."

But Vallance also noted that high daily death numbers were going to continue “for some weeks”.

"When you look at the number of infections we’ve had over the past few weeks and how this is likely to continue ... I’m afraid we’re in a period of high death numbers that’s going to carry on for some weeks," he continued, adding, "It’s not going to come down quickly even if the measures that are in place now start to reduce the infection numbers. So we’re in for a pretty grim period, I’m afraid."