NHS Waiting list for treatments continues to grow

As the waiting list for treatments in the NHS continues to grow, Island health bosses are looking at ways to open up the hospital and get back to business.

A report from the NHS Confederation released earlier this week warns the health service will face an uphill battle in the coming months as cancer, stroke and heart care services try to restart.

The combined effects of maintaining social-distancing, a backlog of treatments and staffing issues have added to the pressure nature of treating patients suffering from Covid-19.

Even if the NHS is able to make a slow recovery to services, the confederation has made it clear trusts will not be able to return to pre-pandemic levels of activity for several months, or longer, adding to the evergrowing waiting list for treatments, which was at four million before Covid-19.

Further estimaties say the waiting list is expected to rise to ten million treatments by Christmas.

Speaking at Thursday’s Isle of Wight NHS Trust board meeting, Vaughan Thomas, chair, said the Island trust needed to be alert to this issue as it is starting to get back to business in areas which had been closed.

He said: “The pressure is on now to address waiting lists across the whole of the NHS and that includes the Island.

“We are now looking at getting back to elective surgery and how we safely bring patients, who are non-Covid and quite fearful, into the hospital environment for treatment.

“Also, how we use the capacity we have got to safely treat people in this environment.

“That is going to be the next demand of us over the summer.”