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NHS Waiting lists make patients consider alternatives


Online newsite, The Ferret investigated the impact covid has had on NHS Waiting Lists. The dramatic reduction in operations and outpatient clinics over the past 8 months has had a significant impact on all specialities in the NHS. The Ferret’s report shows that the worst affected include General Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Ophthalmology respectively. 

The Ferret spoke to Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Mr Jonathan Ross to understand the detrimental impact on some of the UK’s most commonly performed surgeries, such as cataract removal and how long it may take to the NHS to recover from the Covid-19 lockdown. He said, “Stopping surgery has never happened before and that had a profound effect so things like cataracts worsened in terms of severity while patients weren’t being seen.

Professor Michael Griffin OBE, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said the figures were “disappointing” and “very concerning”  if not surprising. 

Mr Ross went on to say that he has seen the greatest increase in people electing for private surgery since the start of his career. “This is entirely understandable given that waiting lists for procedures such as cataract surgery are up to two years now. People are happy to wait with the NHS but as soon as their sight starts to increase their risk of falls and other accidents, their priorities can quickly change and what was once a procedure they were happy to wait for becomes much more pressing. 

We also live in an area where many people live in rural settings. We find a lot of our patients come to us when their sight dips below driving standard. When driving is essential to your way of life it suddenly becomes a priority to restore vision so that your way of life can be maintained. Unfortunately, two years without transport just isnt an option for many people and they are thankful that an alternative route to surgery is available.’

Read the full article here: The Revealed: Covid’s toll on hospital operations could ‘take four years’ to fix

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