The following is taken from a recent Political Update from the Royal College:
“NHS England today published performance data for February 2017, which revealed a 39% increase in the total number of patients waiting over 18 weeks for planned treatment since February 2016. The number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks was 367,094. It has also now been a year since the 92% target for all patients to be seen within 18 weeks has been met. The data also revealed that 1,583 patients were waiting more than 52 weeks in February 2017, compared to 692 in the same month last year. Responding to the figures, a spokesperson from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) said: “There are now 103,505 more patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for planned treatment than the same time last year. While we welcome some of the initiatives NHS England announced last month to help with pressures on planned operations, deprioritising the 18-week waiting time target for planned surgery risks undoing much of the progress the NHS has made on reducing long waiting times over the last decade”.