The Royal College of Physicians has responded to the latest NHS performance figures which reveal the waiting list remains at a record high of 7.4 million.
Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“While patients will be pleased to hear waiting lists for diagnostic tests are down, we can see more people are facing waits of six weeks or longer. Although more than 2 million diagnostic checks were carried out in April, there were waits of six weeks or more for heart or colon tests and checks. The overall waiting list is still at a record 7.4 million and the target for starting routine treatment within 18 weeks is well below the 92% aim, with two in five people waiting longer. Many of these patients are now having to live with pain and the associated anxiety that comes with care delays.
“This will affect trust in the health service, especially among those groups who have previously been less likely to seek its support. It’s another stark reminder of the challenges faced by an NHS workforce battling to deliver quality care with less resource. The Government’s long-awaited workforce plan must set out independently verified staffing projections underpinned by sufficient funding.”