NHS waiting list in East of England falls for third month in a row, thanks to efforts of staff

NHS waiting list in East of England falls for third month in a row, thanks to efforts of staff image

Home » NHS waiting list in East of England falls for third month in a row, thanks to efforts of staff

The NHS waiting list in the East of England fell in December for the third month running, despite ongoing industrial action and winter pressures continuing to hit the region’s health service hard, with A&E and ambulance services experiencing one of the busiest ever Januarys.

The region’s medical director praised the hard work and dedication of staff as new figures show the number of patients waiting for elective treatment in the East of England fell by almost 6,000 in December, despite the NHS needing to reschedule 9,332 appointments due to industrial action.

The new figures published yesterday show the region’s waiting list fell for the third consecutive month and is now down by more than 50,000 since September to a total of 934,144.

Dr Edward Morris, regional medical director for the NHS in the East of England, said: “It’s testament to the tireless work of our NHS staff that despite an extremely difficult winter with two periods of industrial action, including the longest strike in NHS history, we have seen yet another fall in the number of patients waiting for treatment.

“Whilst this is great progress, winter pressures continue to hit the region’s NHS hard, putting pressure on services and staff. We are seeing more patients coming forward with complex and severe conditions, with the number of emergency admissions from A&E up by almost 15% on last year as well more flu patients in hospital every day.

“As ever, I encourage the public to use our services in the right way to get the care they need in the quickest way, using NHS 111 to get advice on the best service for their condition, and only calling 999 in life-threatening emergencies.”

Weekly winter data shows that flu is at one of its highest points this winter, with an average of 275 patients in the region’s hospitals each day with flu last week, including nine in critical care – up by almost 140% from four people in the same week last year. This is on top of 34 patients a day with norovirus and 268 patients with Covid.

There were well over 227,000 attendances at the region’s A&E departments last month – an increase of almost 15% compared to January last year.

Almost 240,000 patients in the region received vital diagnostic tests or checks in December – up nearly 13% on the previous year.

East of England ambulance staff responded to 8,672 of the most serious ambulance call outs (Category 1 calls) for January – an increase of 4.5% from the same month last year – while 999 call handlers answered more than 92,000 calls, which was well over 12,000 more than the previous record for January (79,802).

NHS staff in the region delivered more elective activity in 2023 than in any other year since the start of the pandemic – with more than 6.5 million people across the East of England treated.

The significant progress came thanks to robust winter planning that has seen more beds, new ambulances and the rollout of measures such as care traffic control centres, urgent community response teams and same day emergency care.

View all news

Latest news and highlights

News

23 February 2024

February 2024 – Update on Health and Care Services in Leighton Buzzard

1.We are pleased to confirm that additional clinics to respond to winter pressures continue in the Town, led by hard working primary care teams. Appointments…

News

21 February 2024

“Please use NHS services wisely” call as new NHS strike goes ahead

Senior doctors in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes have again warned of potential disruption to local health services over the next week, as further industrial…

News

19 February 2024

ICB appoints Board-level champion to oversee progress on DennyReview health and inclusion

Lorraine Sunduza, interim Chief Executive of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), has been appointed Board champion to support the system response to the Denny Review by the Bedfordshire, Luton…

News

14 February 2024

Look after your heart health this Valentine’s Day

Tennyson famously wrote that “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” but as Valentine’s Day arrives, local doctors have urged men and women of…

News

12 February 2024

Parents urged to use half term as chance to catch up on…

Parents of children who are not fully vaccinated against measles have been urged to use this February half term as an opportunity to get them the protection they need, as…

News

9 February 2024

NHS waiting list in East of England falls for third month in…

The NHS waiting list in the East of England fell in December for the third month running, despite ongoing industrial action and winter pressures continuing to hit the region’s health…