Sharp rise in patients waiting more than 18 weeks for elective surgery

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 16 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4518
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The number of patients in England who waited for more than 18 weeks for elective surgery rose by almost 80% last year, a new analysis has shown.

The report by the Patients Association1 found that 92 739 patients waited for over 18 weeks in 2015 compared with 51 388 patients in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 79.5%.

The data were based on 112 responses to Freedom of Information requests that were sent by the association to every NHS trust in England (a 78% response rate).

The report also found that 77% of these organisations were not notifying patients of their rights and options under the NHS Constitution when the 18 week target for elective care had been missed.

In addition, it found that the average waiting times for five elective procedures (hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia, adenoid, and tonsillectomy) were over …

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