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10 million on NHS waiting lists by Christmas

Leading clinicians have written to Boris Johnson warning the UK faces a "second health catastrophe" because so many non-Covid patients are missing out on treatment as a result of the pandemic.

The letter warns that “lives are being put at risk” and that action is needed immediately. It comes as new figures show as many as one in six (10 million) people will be on the NHS waiting list by the end of the year.

The letter, signed by ten specialists, including cancer doctors, patient safety experts, CQCs and medical negligence lawyers, states: “We are increasingly concerned about the impact, including avoidable harm and death caused by the continuing unavailability of urgent diagnostics and treatment for thousands of non-COVID patients. 

“The backlog of such cases is now significant and worsening. We implore the central and devolved Governments of the UK to take urgent strategic action, including in co-ordination and co-operation with each other, to prevent this becoming a second and perhaps even more serious health catastrophe arising from the pandemic in the UK.”

The letter was also signed by barrister Theo Huckle QC, Professor John Fairclough of Swansea and Cardiff Met Universities, Nick Brown of Doughty Street Chambers and Helen Hughes, Chief Executive, Patient Safety Learning.

Cases which have come to the attention of the signatories include Sherwin Hall, 27, a father of one from Leeds, who made 13 visits to hospital during the COVID-19 lockdown before getting a cancer diagnosis for the pain in his groin.

He said of his case: “I am very angry at the way I have been treated due to COVID-19 and the delay on my cancer treatment and now I am fighting for my life.

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Source: Express, 21 June 2020



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