National NHS forecasts are predicting there will be around 11,000 patients on the elective waiting list who have been waiting longer than 78 weeks at the start of April, the target for clearing this cohort, HSJ understands.
Senior NHS figures familiar with the forecasts told HSJ they had stood at around 9,000 last week, but mass cancellations during the three-day junior doctors’ strike had pushed up the potential outstanding cases by approximately 2,000.
One senior NHS figure close to national efforts said they “hoped” trusts could cut the figure to under 10,000 by the deadline, and that intense work was going on across systems to ensure the figure was as small as possible.
It is understood system leaders expect the 78-week breach figure to be cut to around 2,000 by the summer. However, as has been the case for the 104-week breaches, they are also predicting a long tail due to a combination of complex cases and patients choosing to wait longer.
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Source: HSJ, 23 March 2023
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