NHS crisis: ‘117,000 waiting list deaths’ amid surgery delays

An estimated 117,000 people have died while on NHS waiting lists as the devastating knock-on effect of Covid-19’s many waves on hospitals is revealed.

Now the treatment backlog stands at 6.5 million people, as coronavirus rates spike and the health service struggles with staffing problems.

It came as Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North and shadow health secretary, returned to Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital to thank medics who spotted a cancerous tumour during a routine kidney scan.

To make sense of the shocking new death rate figures, revealed in Freedom of Information requests by Labour, we’re joined by Evening Standard health editor Ross Lydall.

We discuss how London’s waiting times compare to the trusts elsewhere in the country, and which surgical specialisms have been hardest hit.

At the same time, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s been speaking about how his government prepared for the wrong sort of pandemic.

The Department of Health and Social Care called the data “deeply misleading” and said the deaths “may be completely unrelated” to the treatment for which the patient was waiting.



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