The wait for NHS operations getting longer and longer “It’s crunch time” say Patients Association
NHS patients are waiting longer than ever for surgical procedures such as hip replacements and cataracts, according to new research published by the Patients Association on Saturday 25th July 2015. In its fifth annual report on hospital waiting times for elective surgical procedures in England, the Patients Association declares:
“We have now come to the crunch: the average waiting times for each of the seven key surgical procedures we have studied are all above 90 days. Moreover, in the vast majority of areas, NHS Trusts have breached the NHS Constitution’s 18 week wait limit between referral and undergoing their operation for some patients.”
The report found that that there is a wide variation in waiting times across England, with the postcode lottery as stark as ever and overall, there are long, and lengthening, waiting times for hip replacement, knee replacement, operations on hernias, adenoids, gallstones, cataracts and tonsillectomies.
Based on the responses from 110 Freedom of Information requests sent to 156 hospital trusts, the Patients Association says that:
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive, The Patients Association said:
- The most significant rise has been seen in the wait for cataracts, up from 69 days in 2013 to 93 days in 2014.
- Knee procedures continue to have the longest wait at 107 days.
- The East of England region has the longest waiting times for knee replacements operations with a mean average of 113 days, 6 days above the national average.
- The shortest average waiting time for any procedure is found within the London region, at 85 days wait for cataract operations, which is still a lengthy time for any patient to wait.
- The response rate to FoI requests has improved to 70.51% of hospital trusts from 53.7% last year.
- The London region had the worst response rate at 62.5%.
“Waiting times are more than a statistic. Delayed and cancelled operations can seriously impact patients’ independence, mobility, ability to work and socialise, and prolong periods of pain or suffering that could be shortened by timely surgery……these findings should be seen as a wake-up call and spur commissioners, policy makers and politicians to take radical steps to improve the speed of NHS provision….patients cannot wait any longer.”
“The challenges to the NHS must not excuse failings in the quality of treatment or patients’ experience of care. As always, patients must come first.”
The Law Commission Consultation: Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty
The Law Commission’s consultation paper, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty has been published. The consultation paper reviews the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (the DoLS) in England and Wales. The goal is to replace the DoLS with a straightforward and accessible legal framework which provides appropriate safeguards for people who lack capacity whose care or treatment is becoming restrictive. This consultation paper is over 251 pages with 42 questions. The Patients Association is concerned that this consultation document has the potential to be ignored due to the size of the document and number of questions. However, if you wish to respond to specific questions the Patients Association will be happy to take your views. Please send your comments to email@example.com by Friday 30th October 2015
Transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs: draft guideline consultation
Link to the Consultation here.
This guideline covers all adults with identified social care needs, including older people. It does not include children and young people. It covers transitions between general hospital and community or care home settings. It does not include inpatient mental health settings. A separate NICE guideline on transitions between inpatient mental health settings and community and care home settings is being developed.
The Patients Association is preparing a response and invites our readers to give their view. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 3rd August 2015.