As many as one-in-eight patients in some areas of England are waiting more than a year for treatment, new analysis has revealed.
According to the Liberal Democrats’ analysis of NHS figures, year-long waits have increased by 15% nationwide over the last year – despite the Government’s pledge to end them by March 2025 – and added that some areas are worse affected than others.
Trafford in Greater Manchester had a worse proportion than anywhere else in the country, with one-in-eight (13%) of its patients sitting on a waiting list for a year or more.
This was followed by Manchester (13%), Brighton and Hove (10%) and Stockport (10%). Sunderland had the fewest people waiting a year at only 0.8%.
Looking at the numbers by NHS local area, Solihull and West Birmingham had the highest number of year-long waits at 16,365, making up 8% of the total, following by Devon with 13,629.
On average, one-in-20 patients on an NHS waiting list in England have been waiting longer than a year, amounting to 385,022 people, up 15% on last year.
The Liberal Democrat’s health and social care spokesperson and MP Daisy Cooper said: ‘The government’s failure to get to grips with soaring NHS waiting times is causing untold suffering and damaging our economy by leaving people too sick to return to work.
‘The NHS is on its knees after years of Conservative neglect. Ministers have to take responsibility for tackling these unacceptable waits for treatment, instead of blaming everyone but themselves.’