Waiting times for NHS operations and treatments will get worse as targets continue to be missed, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted.
Waiting lists in England continue to rise
Jeremy Hunt has said that waiting times will worsen and that a £250m lump sum is being put into the NHS to help ease the backlog of patients waiting for treatment.
The news comes after the recent report that more than 3 million people were waiting for treatment for this first time since March 2008.
The NHS is under a huge amount of pressure as waiting time targets are missed and the Department of Health has responded by ordering an additional 100,000 treatments to be carried out this summer.
Targets for diagnostic tests have been missed for six months in a row and the 18-week target time from GP referral to treatment was breached in both February and March this year. Suspected cancer patients have also suffered as the target of 62 days for referral was also missed.
More than 500 patients have been waiting for over a year for their treatment.
The Health Secretary has said that £250 million will be spent on aiming to reduce the waiting times by sanctioning an additional 100,000 operations over the summer period. This initiative is hoped to bring the problem under control.
Jeremy Hunt said: “This focus on long waiters might mean that we undershoot the 18 week target for a temporary period, although we will return to meeting it before the end of the year.
“Indeed, as the many NHS target experts will know, we could ensure we met the 18 week target every month by focusing those 100,000 additional treatments on shorter rather than longer waiters.
"But that would be an indefensible betrayal of those who have been waiting the longest and not one I would be prepared to sanction as Health Secretary."
For as little as £15 a month you can avoid NHS waiting lists and be diagnosed and treated in a private hospital at a time that suits you with health insurance.
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