The NHS is experiencing an ongoing backlog in secondary (non-emergency) care provision.
This has been blamed on the effect that covid-19 continues to have on the NHS, during the pandemic non - emergency treatments were delayed, and the backlog continues today.
Even before the pandemic, waiting times were high in the NHS: 4.43 million were on the waitlist for non - emergency training in Febuary 2020.
As of July 2023, there are now 7.67 million patients waiting to begin their treatment.
Some people may have had their planned treatment cancelled, either by themselves due to covid-19 concerns or by hospitals to make space for emergency treatments. Due to this, the actual figure for people waiting for treatments may be much higher.
Its not only non - emergency treatments that have been affected, cancer care levels in the UK are far below the target levels in areas such as diagnosis' and treatments starting. This is deeply concerning and the NHS has announced changes to waiting time standards that are set to come into effect on 1st October 2023.
It is unknown when the stress on the NHS will begin to ease, it is suspected that disruption is likely to continue and result in greater demand on the NHS in the UK.