Two years wait at Sussex University Hospitals Trust

A HOSPITAL trust has reduced its longest wait times by 90 percent, new figures show.

As part of an effort to cut the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS England pledged in February to end waiting times of more than two years.

As of July 3, the latest available data, 28 patients were waiting that long for routine treatment at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, down 89 per cent from 246 at the end of February.

The Argus: Royal Sussex County HospitalRoyal Sussex County Hospital

Across England, the number of patients waiting two years or more fell to 3,548 in early July from a peak of 23,778 in January.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said: “These figures show that our hard-working teams across the country are making good progress in tackling the Covid backlog, with a record number of diagnostic tests and checks in May and fewer people who have been confronted with it the longest is waiting for choice supply.”

But he warned more work was needed for the NHS to catch up.

He said: “There is no doubt the NHS is still facing significant pressure from rising Covid admissions, thousands of staff absenteeism due to the virus, the heatwave and record demand for ambulances and emergency care.”

Think tank King’s Fund welcomed the figures but warned the NHS is in a “continuous crisis”.

Danielle Jefferies, Policy Analyst at the organisation, said: “Significant progress has been made in reducing the number of people waiting two years or more for scheduled hospital treatment, thanks to the tremendous efforts of NHS staff.

“But the overall waiting list has continued to grow, and the number of people waiting longer than a year is also increasing.”

Despite the reduction in extremely long waits, the latest available data shows 332,000 patients across England have been on treatment waiting lists for more than a year since May, including 6,817 patients from Sussex University Hospitals Trust.

Nationally, that was an increase of 21,000 from December.

Ms Jeffries added the new government will face difficult choices when it comes to the NHS and will “need to be honest with the public about the standards of care that can be expected”.

In May, 108,833 people were waiting to be treated at Sussex University Hospitals Trust, with a record 6.6 million people across England.

Health Secretary and Lewes MP Maria Caulfield called the numbers “great news”.

She said: “NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to clear the Covid backlog, treating more than 15 million patients in the last year.

“Our groundbreaking Community Diagnostic Centers have performed over 1.1 million additional tests since July 2021, and the number of people waiting more than two years for treatment has fallen by more than 80 percent since February.” Two years wait at Sussex University Hospitals Trust

Fry Electronics Team

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