The Government is yet to publish its plan to address the vast NHS waiting list despite a shocking 1 in 10 people across England now being on a waiting list.
Here in the West of England latest figures show that at the end of September, there were 31357 people on the waiting list at Bath’s Royal United Hospitals Trust.
Worryingly over a thousand people have been waiting for more than a year for an appointment.
While the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the NHS, nationally, the standard of 92% of people being seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016.
But exhausted staff will not be able to fix the backlog without additional help, Metro Mayor Dan Norris has warned. He has flagged up the major staffing shortage across the NHS who need to recruit 100,000 staff, including 7,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses. Locally unfilled job vacancies, plus staff sickness mean our NHS is running around 10% under expected staffing levels.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris who has responsibility for jobs, skills and training said:
“Local doctors, nurses, and other health care staff are doing amazing work, trying to see as many people as they can and provide quality care. But there’s only so much they can do after a decade of underfunding and without the staff numbers they need.”
The Mayor says that increasing numbers of worried NHS staff have contacted him fearful about the situation in our hospitals as Winter approaches.
He said: “This winter looks set to be the most challenging in the whole history of the NHS. It’s now urgent that Ministers fix the stalling vaccination programme, resolve the immediate crisis in social care and bring forward a long term plan to recruit the health care staff our NHS desperately needs.
If people in Bath can’t get the timely care they need, there will be awful consequences.”