The NHS has been in the news this winter as high accident and emergency patient numbers have caused some hospital trusts to struggle to meet demand. It has now also been highlighted that it is not only emergency care which is under high pressure as wait times for routine operations are growing far above recommended levels.

NHS rules state that patients should wait no longer than 18 weeks for routine operations such as hip and knee replacements. However figures released by the NHS show that the number of people facing longer waits has more than doubled in the past four years. The number of patients waiting over 18 weeks has risen by 163% since 2012, with 3.7million people in total on the waiting list. This does not just apply to wait times in England.  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also seen the number of patients waiting long periods rise. (Source: BBC News)

Royal College of Surgeons President Clare Marx said ” Standards of care are being eroded and we don’t want it to get worse. The longer you wait for a hip or knee replacement the less likely you are to have good outcomes. These waits really matter.”

However a Department of Health spokesman said the NHS is having to treat “5,000 extra patients a day compared to 2010 – so the levels of performance are a tribute to the work of NHS staff.”

TSP Clinical Negligence solicitor Steve Webb said “Obviously the delays are a worry and disappointing and need to be addressed before too many new patients are put at risk.”

Based in Colchester and Clacton, Essex, Thompson Smith and Puxon provide Medical Negligence advice across East Anglia. AvMA and Law Society accredited specialist Julian Wilson and his team are experienced in handling medical claims from birth injury to misdiagnosis and treatment delay.

If you think you may have been the victim of a medical accident or inadequate care, contact one of our Medical Claims Advisors to find out more about how we can help you with your claim.

Quotes featured in this article were sourced here.