Patients waiting nearly three months for routine treatment at Blackpool Vic
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NHS England figures show the median waiting time for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was 11 weeks at the end of January – up from 10 weeks in December.
But this was shorter than the average 12-week wait a year previously.
There were 23,927 patients on the waiting list in January – up from 23,005 in December, and 18,919 in January 2021.
Of those, 775 had been waiting for longer than two years.
Nationally, 6.1 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of January.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently announced NHS reforms, which include paying for patients who have been waiting the longest to travel to less busy hospitals or private facilities for care.
But Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund health think tank, said these promises will "ring hollow if hospitals throughout England continue to flash red".
He added: "Staff shortages remain the rate-limiting factor in the Government’s ambition to reduce the backlog.
"Without a fully-funded workforce plan, key targets will continue to be missed and people will continue wait longer for the care they need."
Separate figures show 1.5 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in January – a rise on 1.4 million in December.
At Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust, 5,084 patients were waiting for one of 15 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy at this time.
Of them, 1,073 (21%) had been waiting for at least six weeks.
The Nuffield Trust said the latest national figures on the state of the NHS make for "sobering reading".
Sarah Scobie, deputy director of research at the think tank, said: “Behind all of these figures are thousands of individual stories of pain and suffering, set against a backdrop of burnt out and overworked healthcare staff.
"The question for the Government is how far the reforms proposed will really touch the sides in the face of such long and growing waiting times.”