The NHS says the number of people waiting two years or more for treatment in England has now been been “dramatically reduced”.
As part of its plan to address delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following the calls last week for it to routinely publish non-hospital waiting lists after it emerged that more than one million people are waiting for care in the community, NHS England says the backlog of people having to wait more than two years for a routine operation has now shrunk from 22,500 at the start of the year to fewer than 200.
On top of that, some 51,000 people who would have been waiting two years for treatment by the end of July have also now been treated.
The NHS said the first part of its Elective Recovery Plan addressed those patients “waiting two years or more by the end of July”, who needed either “scans, checks, surgical procedures and other routine treatment”.
In an attempt to reduce the backlog, the NHS said patients have been offered travel and accommodation costs to be treated in alternative parts of the country.
All were prioritised unless they “chose to wait longer” or “did not want to travel to be seen faster”.
The waitlist has now been reduced to 2,777 “despite COVID and other pressures, of whom 1,579 opted to defer treatment and 1,030 are very complex cases,” the NHS confimed.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff the NHS has delivered the first mile-stone in our Elective Recovery Plan,” explained Amanda Pritchard – Chief Executive at NHS England.
“It has only been possible because the NHS has continued to reform the way we deliver care, using innovative techniques and adopting pioneering technology like robot surgery, and through building new relationships and mutual aid arrangements across systems to offer patients the opportunity to be transferred elsewhere and get the care they need as quickly as possible.”
“The next phase will focus on patients waiting longer than 18 months,” she added.
“Building on the fantastic work already done, and, while it is a significant challenge, our remarkable staff have shown that, when we are given the tools and resources we need, the NHS delivers for our patients.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay added: “We are working hard with the NHS to get our health system back to peak performance, by growing the healthcare workforce, opening new community diagnostic centres and surgical hubs across the country, and investing in innovative technology to ensure patients can access the treatment they need while saving staff time”.
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Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.