Patients’ 14-week wait for routine treatment at York Teaching Hospital ‘shows strain on the NHS’

Patients were waiting an average of 14 weeks for routine treatment at York Teaching Hospital in February, figures show.

By Patrick Jack (Data reporter)
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 1:30 pm
There were 37,473 patients on the waiting list in February – up from 37,003 in January, and 27,189 in February 2021. Photo: PA Images
There were 37,473 patients on the waiting list in February – up from 37,003 in January, and 27,189 in February 2021. Photo: PA Images

The King’s Fund think tank said another national record for the number of people on hospital waiting lists shows the strain on the NHS is reaching “unacceptable levels”.

NHS England figures show the median waiting time for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was 14 weeks at the end of February – up from 13 weeks in January.

This was also more than the average 13-week wait a year previously.

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There were 37,473 patients on the waiting list in February – up from 37,003 in January, and 27,189 in February 2021. Of those, 1,720 had been waiting for longer than one year.

Nationally, 6.2 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of February.

This is up from 6.1 million in January and the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Danielle Jefferies, analyst at The King’s Fund, said the latest national figures show pressures are now reaching “unacceptable levels” in all parts of the health and care system.

She added: “A&E departments remain full of patients in need of urgent care, and separate data shows a similar story in general practice and social care.”

Separate figures show 1.5 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in February – the same as in January.

At York Teaching Hospital, 12,933 patients were waiting for one of 14 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.

NHS England national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “Nobody should be under any illusion about how tough a job NHS staff have on their hands, balancing competing priorities and maintaining high quality patient care.”