Thousands wait for hospital treatment across Essex

The equivalent of one in nine people in parts of Essex are now waiting for hospital treatment.

More than 180,000 people are waiting for treatment in Essex, according to recent data.

The number of people on NHS waiting lists across England for routine trips such as hip and knee operations soared to 5.12 million at the end of April – the highest level on record.

In the Mid Essex CCG area 29,815 people referred by GPs for treatment were waiting to start hospital treatment. Individuals could have more than one referral for different conditions but that is the equivalent of 10.4 per cent of the population in the area waiting for treatment.

Of those waiting, 65.9 per cent had been waiting less than the target time of 18 weeks. The average wait to be treated is 10.7 weeks.

In the Basildon and Brentwood  CCG area 22,960 people referred by GPs for treatment were waiting to start hospital treatment equivalent of 11.1 per cent of the population in the area waiting for treatment. Of those waiting, 64.2 per cent had been waiting less than the target time of 18 weeks.

In West Essex 21,698 people were waiting to start hospital treatment -equivalent of 12.2  per cent of the population. Of those waiting, 60 per cent had been waiting less than  18 weeks.

In Castle Point and Rochford CCG area, 19,445 were waiting to start hospital treatment equivalent of 10.9 per cent of the population while 64.9 per cent had been waiting less than the target time of 18 weeks.

In Southend CCG, 19,732 people are waiting for treatment, the equivalent of 10.8 per cent of the local population.

At the end of April, there were 11,281 people across Essex who had been waiting more than a year for treatment. There were also 225 people who had been waiting for more than two years.

Across England, the number of people on NHS England waiting lists grew from 4.95 million at the end of March to 5.12 million in April.

Despite the rise, waiting times across the country have improved.

The proportion waiting less than 18 weeks increased slightly from 64.4 per cent in March to 64.6 per cent in April.

The number of people waiting over a year to begin treatment dropped by more than 50,000 in April from 436,127 to 385,490.

It means 7.5 per cent of those on the list have been waiting more than a year for treatment, and numbers are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels – 1,613 people had been waiting more than a year for treatment in February 2020.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said that despite the extensive disruption to care caused by the pandemic, it was encouraging that the figures show routine operations, cancer and mental health care have now all rebounded sharply.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter