Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people waiting for NHS treatment in England has grown to 6.1 million - the highest level since comparable records began – and is expected to rise further as those who have missed out on care come forward. In February 2022, the government published the NHS elective recovery plan which aims to increase NHS treatment capacity to 30% above pre-pandemic levels by 2024−25.
However, there are many uncertainties around the future demand for care and the number of ‘missing’ patients who will eventually return to seek NHS care. This tool developed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) allows you to simulate how waiting lists may change over the next four years under different assumptions.
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