The Independent Healthcare Providers Network has expressed ‘huge concern’ at NHS performance figures showing the overall NHS waiting list has grown to a record high.
With 7.3m people now waiting for treatment, its policy and delivery director David Furness warned: ‘There’s a real risk that we get desensitised to the very high numbers we are seeing and forget that behind the figures are real people who are waiting too long for diagnosis and treatment.’
While there had been good progress on reducing the numbers of patients waiting more than 78 weeks, there was still much more to do, including ensuring every person on the waiting list could be seen and treated as quickly as possible.
Mr Furness added: ‘This includes making NHS patients aware of their legal right to choose the best provider for their NHS treatment, including the independent sector.
‘We hope that the Government’s much-needed elective recovery taskforce will focus on ways that more NHS patients can be made aware of their rights, to help them to get the treatment they need as quickly as possible and tackle other systemic issues so that more patients can be seen more quickly.’