Fixing the NHS waiting time may cost 40 billion pounds, the leaked 10th estimate shows | National Health Service

Boris Johnson may have to spend up to 40 billion pounds to try to repair National Health Service According to an unpublished Downing Street estimate, the waiting time will end the long delays faced by patients.

The Cabinet Office’s calculation No. 10 indicates that, in addition to core NHS funding, the Prime Minister may have to invest between £2 billion and £10 billion per year over a four-year period to deal with issues that are quickly becoming a major issue. Political issues that make the government a headache.

The figures disclosed by Whitehall sources underscore the huge challenge of restoring the NHS waiting time to a manageable level before the next election.

The latest NHS England performance data released on Thursday showed that the total number of people waiting for hospitalization, especially surgery Breaking through 5 million for the first time. In April, it was 5,122,017, the highest level on record in 2007.

However, a source familiar with the idea of ​​No 10 said that despite the negative publicity, Downing Street did not think it necessary to start investing money on this issue soon because the public has not been “distressed” by the long delay.

These forecasts are compiled by the Cabinet Office as part of its work, which looks at the scale of post-Covid support required in the areas of health, education and justice. Some Conservative parties are suggesting that Michael Gove, Minister of the Cabinet Office, succeed Matt Hancock as Minister of Health and Social Care.

According to sources, the Ministry of Finance is unwilling to hand over large sums of money to solve the growing waiting list problem. NHS England plans to soon provide Downing Street with a detailed analysis of how long it will take to start providing medical services again within its existing targets to help inform No 10’s ideas before the full autumn expenditure review.

In the past two months, the waiting list has soared by nearly 425,000 people because people who were unable to get non-Covid NHS care during the pandemic, or who were unwilling to do so, have delayed seeing a GP and were transferred Go to the hospital.

In April, hospitals in England managed to restore 90% of non-emergency care levels before the pandemic. But they suffer from staff shortages, employee illnesses related to the pressure of coping with Covid, and the reduction of beds due to social distancing measures.

Of the 5.1 million people, nearly 400,000 had to wait more than a year due to diseases such as cancer and heart disease, hip and knee replacement surgery, and cataract extraction. A few people—2,722—have been waiting for more than two years. Since 2016, the NHS has not achieved its goal of treating 92% of all patients on the waiting list within the assumed maximum 18 weeks.

Professor Anita Charlesworth, NHS Financial Specialist health The foundation think tank stated that it is estimated that ministers will need to spend 6 billion pounds in three years to resolve the backlog. However, due to the second wave of Covid in the winter, critical services were once again interrupted, and the amount required will increase.

“The health service now has a mountain to climb. Reducing the backlog of long waits and keeping the NHS in a position to consistently meet the waiting time standards will require a substantial increase in funding,” Charlesworth said. But she added that this would require 5,000 additional beds, more than 4,100 consultants and 17,100 nurses because the NHS resources are too small to increase the number of patients receiving treatment.

Richard Murray, chief executive of the King’s Fund think tank, said the NHS’s lack of scanners and operating rooms would severely limit its ability to increase activities.

Downing Street declined to comment on the leaked data.

The Ministry of Health and Social Care stated: “We supported the NHS with GBP 1 billion to resolve the established waiting list, providing up to 1 million additional inspections, scans and additional operations. The NHS will provide GBP 160 million for testing innovative ways to speed up key areas. Elective rehabilitation will allow more hospitals to go further and faster.

“This is an additional £7 billion in additional funding for the healthcare services we provide this year.”

Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, a hospital group, said: “Trust leaders know how frustrating the long wait for treatment can be and are doing everything they can to prioritize those who need urgent medical attention.”

Ministers, NHS leaders, medical groups, and health charities are worried that extending the waiting time for treatment may cause the health of patients to deteriorate, and some may even be incurable.

The latest official data shows that as of 9 am on Thursday, there are still 7,393 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK. Within 28 days of testing positive, 7 more people died, bringing the total in the UK to 127,867.

According to statistics from the Department of Public Health England, the number of infections in every part of England is now rising again, especially in the northwest.

NHS Federation Deputy Chief Executive Danny Mortimer (Danny Mortimer) warned that if the increase in the number of people infected with the new crown virus triggers a third wave of epidemics and puts severe pressure on hospitals, the hospital may shut down normal care again.He urged Boris Johnson to be prepared Delay in lifting restrictions It will be held on June 21st as planned.

A positive factor in the latest data is that the number of planned non-emergency treatments that were forced to wait in hospitals for at least one year has fallen from 436,127 to 385,490.

“Although the pandemic has caused widespread damage to care, it is encouraging that today’s data shows that routine surgery, cancer and mental health care have now rebounded sharply,” the National Health Service of the UK National Health Service (NHS) Director Professor Stephen Powis said.

“The average waiting time for non-urgent care has dropped to 11 weeks, and the number of people who waited more than 52 weeks in April fell by more than 50,000. Mental health services have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and cancer treatment rates have now returned to normal levels. “

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About the Author: Agnes Zang