UK NHS Waiting List May Reach 6 Million by End of Year, Sajid Javid Warns
05:26 GMT 22.11.2021 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 28.05.2023)
It was previously revealed by The Telegraph that almost 10,000 more people than usual have died in the past four months from non-COVID-19 conditions. This prompted calls for an urgent investigation to gauge 'what went wrong'.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the number of people waiting for non-urgent treatment on the NHS waiting list may pass 6 million by the end of the year.
The heath secretary said that the current waiting list figure is going to go up before it comes down.
“This number is going to go up before it comes down. Why? Because some seven to eight million people stayed away during the height of the Covid crisis because they were asked to. They did what was asked of them,” Sajid Javid said.
“But I want them to come forward, I want them to come back to the NHS, I want them to know that it is open to them, and if you take that along with normal demand of course that is huge pressure,” the heath secretary added.
The current waiting list is 5.9 million people, according to Javid.
Earlier, the head of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, urged the UK government to reintroduce some anti-COVID-19 measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing in crowded places, working from home, and a ban on unnecessary indoor gatherings, as hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed ahead of winter.