Patients in need of a new hip or knee are increasingly being left in agony for more than a year, an investigation reveals.
The number of patients forced to endure such waits has risen by more than 50% in 12 months, NHS data shows.
Charities said that the findings were "devastating", with thousands of people left in pain and misery, with some left house-bound, and younger patients unable to work, as they waited for NHS help.
The figures show that in 2018/19, 55,251 patients waited at least 18 weeks for hip and knee surgery – a more than doubling from 25,704 such cases in 2013/14. In total, 2,889 patients were left waiting at least 12 months, up from 1,863 a year before, and 780 cases five years ago.
Experts warned that even these figures from NHS Digital are an underestimate, as they only measure the wait from the point a hospital doctor decides that surgery is required, not from point of GP referral.
Source: The Telegraph, 22 February 2020