UK patients could wait up to two years for vital operations because of Covid backlogs
A former boss at the NHS has warned that thousands of NHS patients could be forced to wait up to two years for vital operations because of backlogs created by the coronavirus pandemic. Given the 90 / 180 day rule now being imposed in Spain for non-EU citizens, many UK travellers face spending a holiday period in Spain while still relying on the NHS as their primary means of care; in addition, UK citizens in their droves have become Spanish residents, while still having relatives back home who rely on the national health system.
Now, Former NHS CEO Sir David Nicholson has told The Guardian that he has already warned No 10 about the “truly frightening” wait many people have for important surgical procedures.
“The backlog is truly frightening. We can very easily get to the next election with people waiting over two years. It’s easy to do that,” Sir David said.
“The whole issue of access [to care] is a greater threat to the NHS than privatisation because poor access undermines confidence amongst those people who fund the service – taxpayers.”
Sir David acted as CEO of the NHS from 2006 to 2014 and said that the issues facing the national health service this year are far greater that those he has seen during his time.
“Even the waiting list problems that I dealt with in my career, we’ve never had that problem, of people who need treatment within 28 days or they will deteriorate. That’s a big, big, big issue,” Sir David said.
The worldwide impact of the coronavirus pandemic on national healthcare has been felt, not only in the UK, but across the globe.