• 29 June 2021
  • 3 min read

What Will The 12 Million Backlog Of NHS Cases Mean For People As Flu Season Starts?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Nicola Pilling
  • 0
  • 297
What Will The 12 Million Backlog Of NHS Cases Mean For People As Flu Season Starts?

The NHS is facing the "biggest pressure in its history" from a backlog of patients potentially twice as large as that anticipated, according to a warning from the now former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Health bosses are preparing for a flood of over 12 million people requiring treatment.

There are 5.1 million patients currently on waiting lists, but it is believed there could be a further 7.1 million patients who stayed away or were unable to access treatment during the pandemic.

Given increased seasonal demand on the NHS in the autumn and winter, what steps can be taken now to ensure NHS services can cope with the anticipated demand? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.

The Health Secretary told hospitals to brace for a surge of people in need of elective procedures such as hip, knee, and eye operations.

He said that even with the NHS "running at 100 per cent", coping with this backlog would be the greatest challenge the health service had yet encountered.

How much consideration do you think this was given by ministers when deciding policy, given that it is an easily anticipatable consequence of the restrictions imposed by the Government to deal with COVID?

The warning has coincided with the publication of the first nationwide study designed to measure the impact of Covid on surgery in the NHS.

The study, undertaken by doctors at Swansea University Medical School and Queen Mary University of London and published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia, revealed the volume of surgical activity in England and Wales decreased by 33.6% in 2020, resulting in more than 1.5 million cancelled operations.

Of even greater concern is that more than 900,000 of these were classed as "semi-urgent".

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

The study goes on to calculate that there will be 2.4 million cancelled operations by the end of 2021.

Do you think that this backlog of cases will be a reason for the government arguing in favour of a further lockdown in the autumn once flu season starts?

The study concludes: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the delivery of healthcare worldwide. In many health systems, resources have been reallocated to the care of patients with COVID-19 and diverted away from routine healthcare services, including cancer care and chronic disease management.’

When the post-COVID public inquiry is completed, do you think that it will be shown that restricting non-COVID treatments will have led to more deaths than those related to COVID?

Co-lead author Dr Tom Abbott, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “Our study reveals the true impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on surgical care in England and Wales, including both emergency and elective care.

The long-term consequence of the disruption is unclear, but we anticipate that for many patients their quality of life will be severely affected.”

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

What hope do you think there is for the Government’s social care reforms, now reportedly stuck in bureaucratic purgatory, given that pressures on the NHS will again monopolise ministers’ attention going forward?

NHS leaders estimate that it could take five years to clear the total of patients currently on waiting lists.

In a bid to cope with the extra demand, the NHS has recruited an extra 5,600 doctors and 10,800 nurses since March 2020. The Government, meanwhile, has pledged a further £7 billion in funding.

Will this make a tangible difference do you think, or is more systemic change required to cope with sustained additional pressure on NHS services?

Please let us know what you think in the comments.

How will the NHS cope with the combined pressures of a winter flu season, increased backlogs of patients as a result of COVID policy restricting other healthcare, and the likely emergence of new COVID variants?

Also, please Like the article if you found it interesting.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

See all of our RGN jobs

6968 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

Care Professionals Helping One Another

We pay people like you to contribute, so that everyone can share. Learn & never miss out on updates & career advice. Join to support our mission.

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

  • 0 Comments
Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join