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“Devastating” NHS Waiting List Growth Confirms Need For Backlog Recovery Plans to be Made Public, Says Think Tank.

Blog posted by: Sebastian Rees, 15 April 2021.

New data published today shows that 4.7 million patients are now on an NHS waiting list with those waiting 52 weeks for care reaching 387,885 or 8.3%.

Commenting, Reform Researcher and co-author of recent research on the impact of COVID-19 on NHS waiting lists, Sebastian Rees, said:

“This news will be devastating for patients. Sadly, the situation is likely to get much worse.  

“There were 6 million fewer referrals to treatment last year compared to 2019, meaning a surge in non-COVID patients needing NHS care may yet be on the horizon.   

“With social distancing, the only way to tackle this ballooning backlog is to increase capacity, and that means using the private sector. The Government has already set aside £10 billion for this, yet just last month NHS England had to again call for local health bodies to produce recovery plans.

“Patients need treatment now. It is imperative that words turn into action and public scrutiny of backlog plans will be key in this regard." 

For more information or to arrange an interview with Sebastian please contact William Mills, Press and Communications Manager, on 07596 949837 or


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