In a survey of nearly 90,000 adults, carried out by NHS England and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between January 16 and February 15 2024, it was revealed that Lancashire and South Cumbria patients faced the longest waiting times for hospital treatment in England.

The survey’s findings:

The survey suggested that, in England, over one in seven adults (14.7 per cent), who are currently waiting for either treatment or an appointment at a hospital, have been waiting for at least twelve months.

Of all patients surveyed, 7.8 per cent or one in thirteen people admit that they have been waiting for over eighteen months for treatment or an appointment at a hospital.

The North-West of England suffered the highest waiting time, with 10.5 per cent.

Of the most affected areas in England, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated NHS Care Board still had the longest wait time, with 17.5 per cent of people claiming to be facing over eighteen months to be treated or seen.

Data from this survey also reveals that, of the 197,572 patients who were on the waiting list in Lancashire and South Cumbria at the end of January 2024, one per cent (1,982 patients) were waiting for more than 65 weeks and 0.05 per cent (107 patients) were waiting for over 78 weeks.

One of the most unfortunate findings from the survey is the stretch in waiting times depending on the wealth of certain regions.

The data proved that nearly double the percentage of people living in the most deprived regions of England (21.3 per cent) faced a wait of over a year, compared to the wealthiest areas of the country (12.4 per cent).

The ONS survey also questioned people about their experience with GP practices. Whilst half agreed that it was easy to get in touch with their GP, almost one in three people described it as difficult.

A spokesperson for the ONS commented:

“In June 2022 we achieved the national standard of eliminating 104-week (two-year) waits.

“We have made significant progress in reducing the number of patients waiting more than 78 weeks (18 months) – down from 2,608 to 142 patients in 12 months to March 2023.

“Waiting lists have stabilised, and the number of patients waiting more than 65 and 52 weeks is also now decreasing.

“But more can still be done, and we believe that by focusing on these six priorities we can eliminate long waits, reduce waiting times and address health inequalities.”

In Lancashire and South Cumbria, one in twenty people said that they could not get in touch with their GP when they needed to speak to a receptionist or book an appointment.

Dr David Wrigley, the deputy chair of the British Medical Associations general practice committee for England spoke on the matter:

“We all want the same thing: GPs want to be able to see their patients, and patients want to be able to see their GP.

“It is no wonder patients are unable to get an appointment in a timely fashion with their GP because, without adequate funding and resources, this is getting harder to achieve.”

Delays in hospital treatment can lead to delayed diagnoses and patient’s conditions deteriorating. We are seeing this all too often with clients approaching us who have experienced unnecessary pain and suffering due to delays in treatment and diagnosis. Whilst it’s promising to see some improvements in the statistics, there’s still a long way to go and it’s disappointing to see areas of Lancashire are falling behind.

If you feel you have a clinical negligence complaint, our experts are on hand to provide advice and representation in your claim for compensation. To discuss the possibility or making a claim and your next steps, please contact the team today on 0845 287 0939, get in touch by email, or use the online chat below.