This morning the Health Foundation issued new analysis showing projected waiting lists in different future scenarios.
Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
"New modelling from the Health Foundation suggests NHS waiting lists in England could top 8 million by next summer, regardless of whether industrial action continues. This is concerning but not surprising. Waiting lists reached another record high in August this year and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) State of Care report last week highlighted the impact of increased demand, an overstretched workforce, and the rising cost-of-living continue on the care people receive.
“A well-resourced workforce is central to bringing down waiting lists and providing care in the long run. Staff have been working very hard for a long time - measures that help retain them by getting the basics right must be prioritised urgently. Bringing the ongoing industrial action to an end is crucial.
"As the CQC report highlights, the current pressures only exacerbate the disparities being experienced across the UK. The RCP continues to call for a cross government strategy to address health inequalities."