To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on ensuring that people whose surgery has been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak receive the treatment they need.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
23 September 2020
The size of the waiting list reduced by 9% between March and May as the National Health Service suspended non-COVID-19 services to help free up capacity to support the response to COVID-19. The NHS is now restoring non-COVID-19 services, including routine surgery and the waiting list has subsequently increased by 5% between June and July while the number of completed admitted pathways has increased 51% over the same period.
The return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels includes making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This is being done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have also been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.