The demand for healthcare workers is higher than ever!

Posted on 16 December 2021

The National Audit Office has published a report (NHS backlogs and waiting times in

England) stating patient backlogs could soar to 12 million by early 2025.

The report explores waiting times for elective and cancer care in the health service in

England, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on them. You’re needed now, more

than ever.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is said that the NHS was doing “more work year-on-year,

but the demand for its services was increasing even faster.” Post-pandemic, it’s been

encouraged to redirect resources to treat patients with the virus and to implement

infection, prevention, and control (IPC) measures.

The disruption due to the pandemic has led to strain on bed capacity and increased the wait

time for treatment for illnesses not related to the virus. As of September 2021, there were

5.83 million patients on the waiting list for elective care. 1.95 million of said patients had

been waiting for more than 18 weeks, including 301,000 who had been waiting for more

than 12 months, stated the NAO.

Due to the pandemic and increased demands from the NHS, it is believed that “millions” of

people have avoided visiting health care professionals or have been unsuccessful in

obtaining referrals. Furthermore, the NAO have estimated there were between 240,000 and

740,000 “missing” urgent GP referrals for suspected cancer during the pandemic.

Hospitals’ efforts to stop the waiting list rising from its current 5.83 million will be

disadvantaged by the NHS having fewer beds and skilled staff, the NAO added. That could

prevent it from being able to keep up with the growing numbers of people likely to end up

on it in future.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “Treating more than half a million patients in hospital

for Covid, as well as delivering a world-leading vaccination programme, has inevitably had

an impact on some routine and non-urgent care. Yet since the pandemic began the NHS has

performed millions of elective procedures and over 450,000 people have started treatment

for cancer.”

The NHS is facing a “daunting” task in operating on all those awaiting surgery and reducing

the long waits for care many people are now facing – the demand for healthcare workers is


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