Elective activity levels are still significantly below those achieved before the pandemic, despite the high profile and government-led drive to recover services.
HSJ has seen internal data which suggests raw elective activity levels from the start of April to mid-June have averaged around 88% of that recorded in the same period during 2019-20.
This is despite the NHS aiming to deliver activity levels of at least 110% above the pre-covid benchmark in 2022-23, in its attempt to make inroads into record elective care waiting lists.
According to senior and well-placed sources, the continued low activity levels have sparked discussions within NHSE about easing or resetting the expectations for the year.
It had been hoped that increased activity from May onwards would start to drive down the waiting list – or at least slow its growth. However, the data obtained by HSJ suggests activity levels continue to disappoint.
Sources pointed to repeated covid waves and related pressures through the spring, saying this has hampered efforts to ramp up activity.
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Source: HSJ, 4 July 2022