NHS patients in Leicester and Liverpool face longest wait for common operations – iNews

NHS patients in Leicester and Liverpool have the longest wait of anywhere in England for common surgery procedures, according to data analysis by medical negligence experts.

Leicester General Hospital, which has around 430 beds, has the longest potential wait of 75.9 weeks a year and a half for most procedures, although waiting times for some operations such as gall bladder removal (56 weeks) and a hysterectomy (56 weeks) are lower.

Leicester Royal has the second longest wait of 74.5 weeks for the nine common procedures analysed.

Liverpools Aintree University Hospital came in third, with a potential wait of 69.9 weeks for the surgeries included in the study by law firm Bond Turner.

Rotherham Hospital, Barnsley Hospital, and Prestons Fulwood Hall Hospital currently have the shortest waiting times for the nine procedures 30.9 weeks, 32.7 weeks, and 33.9 weeks respectively.

Waiting times for each procedure do vary significantly from 82 weeks for hernia repair surgery at Birminghams Queen Elizabeth Hospital to 18 weeks at Newcastles Royal Victoria Infirmary revealing a healthcare lottery across the country.

Leicester General: 75.9 weeks / 17.5 monthsLeicester Royal: 74.5 weeks / 17.5 monthsAintree University, Liverpool: 69.9 weeks / 16 monthsThe Royal London: 67.9 weeks / 15.5 monthsQueen Elizabeth, Birmingham: 67.6 weeks / 15.5 monthsAddenbrookes, Cambridge: 66 weeks / 15 monthsRoyal Devon & Exeter: 65.4 weeks / 15 monthsRoyal Preston: 65 weeks / 15 monthsLeeds General Infirmary: 64.9 weeks / 15 monthsHull General Infirmary: 63.9 weeks / 14.5 months

England hospitals with longest up to waiting times from GP referral for nine common surgery procedures

Huge disparities emerged in other procedures, such as carpal tunnel surgery, with patients at Norfolk & Norwich University waiting an average 93 weeks compared to those at St Georges in London, who have to wait just 29 weeks on average for the same operation.

The national average for England for carpal tunnel surgery where doctors relieve pain, numbness, and tingling in fingers, is just under 60 weeks.

Patients at Oxfords John Radcliffe Hospital face a 91-week wait for a tonsillectomy surgical removal of the tonsils but if they were waiting at Barnsley Hospital it would just take 14 weeks. The national average is just over 48 weeks.

Sara Stanger, head of clinical negligence (Liverpool) at Bond Turner,said:It goes without saying that the NHS has been put under overwhelming pressure over the last 18 months in particular. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that many non-urgent surgeries were cancelled, and now the waiting list is ever-growing.

NHS staff are working flat out to reduce the backlog, but it is no surprise that many are now feeling forced to look at alternatives such as private healthcare in order to have their procedure completed sooner.

Lumbar (lower back): 60.6 weeks / 14 monthsCarpal tunnel release: 59.7 weeks / 13.5 monthsHip or knee replacement: 57.7 weeks / 13 monthsHernia (inguinal): 57.5 weeks / 13 monthsVaricose vein: 57.5 weeks / 13 monthsGeneral surgery: 56.3 weeks / 12.5 monthsTonsillectomy (ear/nose/throat): 48.3 weeks / 11 monthsHysterectomy: 42.8 weeks / 10 monthsGall bladder removal (gastrointestinal): 32.9 weeks / 7.5 months

Current up to surgery waiting time from GP referral for 9/10 patients (England average):

NHS data collected from https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/Procedures/Search between September 22-28

Waiting for any medical treatment can be very stressful but waiting nearly two years could also be very dangerous. This delay could lead to other medical issues, some of which may then require urgent attention.

For example, unstable hips in the older generation can fail and result in significant complications, even fatalities.

Ms Stanger said anyone awaiting non-urgent surgery following a GP referral has a legal right to choose which hospital it takes place at.

She suggested that patients research where the shortest waiting lists are for their surgery type via the NHS service dashboard, and once they have decided on a hospital, book an appointment through theNHS e-Referral Service.

She said: There does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for those waiting for procedures, as hospitals in England have been given permission to drop Covid testing before planned surgeries and can go back to normal cleaning routines.

This should hopefully reduce the backlog. The extra money promised by the government will likely help too.

The Leicester and Liverpool health trusts have been approached for comment.

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NHS patients in Leicester and Liverpool face longest wait for common operations - iNews

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