NHS ready lists have hit a brand new file excessive, with extra individuals dealing with lengthy waits, information reveals.
Figures for the NHS in England present 7.75 million individuals have been ready to start out therapy on the finish of August, up from 7.68 million in July.
That is the best quantity since information started in August 2007 and comes regardless of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying chopping ready lists is one in all his priorities.
The Authorities stated ongoing strikes by docs are having a major affect on the power to deliver down waits.
The information additionally reveals 8,998 individuals in England have been ready greater than 18 months to start out routine hospital therapy on the finish of August, up from 7,289 on the finish of July.
The Authorities and NHS England set the ambition of eliminating all waits of over 18 months by April this 12 months, excluding exceptionally complicated circumstances or sufferers who select to attend longer.
A complete of 396,643 individuals in England have additionally been ready longer than 52 weeks to start out routine hospital therapy as of the tip of August, up from 389,952 on the finish of July.
The ambition is to eradicate all waits of over a 12 months by March 2025.
In the meantime, the variety of individuals ready longer than 12 hours in A&E departments in England from a choice to confess to really being admitted was 33,107 in September, up 15% from 28,859 in August however beneath the 54,573 in December 2022.
The quantity ready at the least 4 hours from the choice to confess to admission has additionally elevated, from 120,120 in August to 125,829 in September, an increase of 5%.
Some 71.6% of sufferers in England have been seen inside 4 hours in A&Es final month, down from 73.% in August.
The NHS restoration plan units a goal of March 2024 for 76% of sufferers attending A&E to be admitted, transferred or discharged inside 4 hours.
Professor Peter Pal, vice-president of the Royal Faculty of Surgeons of England, stated: “Elevated demand, file workers vacancies and industrial motion all proceed to carry again restoration efforts.
“While NHS workers proceed to work exhausting to cut back ready lists, that is occurring in extraordinarily difficult circumstances – and that’s earlier than winter pressures hit.
“The Authorities’s current monetary enhance to assist the well being service this winter could be very a lot welcome. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister’s key pledge of decreasing the scale of the ready record by March 2024 is trying an increasing number of unsure.
“The Authorities should proceed to fund surgical hubs in areas which might be struggling to deliver down lengthy waits for operations.
“These are bodily separated from emergency providers in hospitals and permit scheduled checks and deliberate operations to proceed, unaffected by elevated stress in different elements of the hospital.”
The information additionally reveals the variety of sufferers in England ready longer than 62 days since an pressing GP referral for suspected most cancers was 23,809 within the week ending September 3, up from 21,016 within the week to August 6.
Many of the sufferers included on this complete would not have most cancers and are ready for a diagnostic check, whereas round one in seven do have most cancers and are ready for therapy.
The Authorities and NHS England set the ambition of returning this determine to pre-pandemic ranges (when the weekly common was 13,463) by March this 12 months.
The information additionally reveals 62.8% of most cancers sufferers who had their first therapy in August after an pressing GP referral had waited lower than two months, up barely from 62.6% in July.
The goal is 85%.
In the meantime, 71.6% of sufferers urgently referred for suspected most cancers have been identified or had most cancers dominated out inside 28 days, down from 74.1% the earlier month. The goal is 75%.
Nevertheless, 267,555 pressing most cancers referrals have been made by GPs in England in August, up 1% on 263,696 in July and up 4% year-on-year from 256,942 in August 2022.
Most cancers Analysis UK chief govt Michelle Mitchell stated: “All most cancers ready time targets have as soon as once more been missed in England regardless of the perfect efforts of NHS workers.
“Behind these figures are individuals ready anxiously for a most cancers prognosis, and sufferers left unsure about once they’ll get the therapy they urgently want.
“Though strike motion has disrupted providers, the ready lists that we see in England at present usually are not new.
“Actually, one key goal has been persistently missed since 2015.
“This can be a stark legacy of a long time of underfunding by the UK Authorities.”
It comes as a senior medic warned industrial motion throughout the NHS should finish earlier than winter to keep away from “appalling” affected person outcomes and experiences.
Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medication (SAM), stated NHS acute care providers continued to be beneath “immense pressure” with clinicians anticipating the approaching months to be as “chaotic and difficult” as final winter.
NHS England stated it had delivered on its ambition to roll out 10,000 digital ward beds by the tip of September.
Greater than 240,000 sufferers have now been handled on digital wards, it stated, including that analysis reveals people who find themselves handled at dwelling get better on the similar charge or sooner than these in hospital.
Professor Sir Stephen PowisNHS nationwide medical director, stated: “Our world-leading digital ward programme is a big leap ahead in the best way the NHS treats sufferers, enabling them to obtain hospital-level care in their very own dwelling…
“We all know that industrial motion can also be persevering with to pile stress on providers and affect capability, including a whole lot of stress to hospitals earlier than winter, approaching high of excessive ranges of demand, with final month seeing extra 999 ambulance calls than any month this 12 months in addition to the busiest September ever for A&E attendances, up virtually 8% on the identical month final 12 months.
“However regardless of this stress, it’s clear from at present’s figures that NHS workers are working extremely exhausting to ship for sufferers, with 10% extra sufferers coming off the ready record in August than the identical month earlier than the pandemic.”