Hospital waiting list reaches new milestone

WAITING lists for treatment at the Trust that runs Tunbridge Wells Hospital are now almost 50 per cent longer than before the Covid pandemic struck, figures have shown.

The record numbers of people waiting for elective procedures and non-emergency surgery such as knee and hip operations at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) reached 44,586 patients at the end of August according to NHS England data released last week –the highest figure since records began in 2007.

This is up from 43,192 on the waiting list in July, but a rise of more than 14,000 on the numbers of patients that were awaiting treatment before the pandemic struck in March 2020, when the waiting list stood at 30,407 patients.


Last Thursday’s (October 13) figures show there has been a rise of 46.64 per cent to the waiting list over the last two years.


The longest lists at MTW are for Ophthalmology, which has 6,655 patients on its waiting list, Gynaecology (6,592), and General Surgery (6,055).

Only 70.1 per cent of patients at MTW are being seen within the government’s 18-week target – the operational standard for all hospitals in 92 per cent.

However, the figures come amid a backdrop of record numbers on waiting lists across England.

The NHS England data shows waiting list for treatments has hit seven million people for the first time ever.

The figures show there were 7 million people waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August – up from 6.8 million in July –and the highest number since records began.

Nobody at MTW was available to comment on the waiting list figures when the Times approached them this week.

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