Skip to main content

NHS: Surgery

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 147104, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to set clinical priority areas for reducing the NHS elective surgical backlog as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

23 February 2021

Priorities for elective treatment are based firstly on clinical urgency and then by those who have been waiting longest. However, the profile of the backlog is subject to regional variation and decisions will need to take into account local needs and aim to maximise the available local capacity.

In October 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement set out a framework and support tools to be used in the clinical validation of surgical waiting lists and support in managing the surgical backlog. These are designed to better stratify patients based on clinical urgency and facilitate mutually agreed decision making with patients.