Britain is in crisis. As well as an energy, political and economic crisis, our neighbors across the channel are facing a crisis in the public health system (NHS). More than 7 million people are now waiting for treatment in English hospitals, a record high, according to official figures published on Thursday. Since the pandemic, the NHS has struggled to reduce waiting lists that patients face, whether to undergo tests, including in the management of cancers, or to benefit from routine or emergency care.
About 7.1 million people were waiting for care at the end of September, a level not seen at least since August 2007, when this indicator was created. Almost a fifth of these people have been waiting for more than a year, although the number of people waiting more than 18 months has fallen by almost 60% in a year, the NHS said.
Twelve hours of waiting at the emergency room
On the other hand, according to this data, the emergency response is not experiencing a break, with an increase in the number of people waiting more than twelve hours for a bed. And this situation may continue as winter approaches, bringing with it an influx of patients suffering from seasonal viruses, and this in a tense social context.
The Royal College of Nursing union announced on Wednesday an unprecedented nationwide strike at the end of the year to demand pay rises amid the cost of living crisis. The government considered the union’s demands financially unrealistic for Britain’s public accounts.