Four in ten patients claim that their health has deteriorated while waiting for treatment on NHS waiting lists, according to a major survey. The research, conducted by the Patients Association, revealed that delays in accessing care have had a significant impact on patients’ well-being.
The study, which surveyed over 1,000 patients, found that 40% reported a worsening of their health condition while on the waiting list. Many respondents expressed frustration and anxiety due to the lengthy wait times, with some experiencing increased pain or discomfort as a result.
Furthermore, the survey highlighted the financial burden faced by patients during this waiting period. Approximately 20% of those surveyed reported incurring additional costs such as travel expenses, prescription charges, and loss of income due to missed work.
The research also shed light on the emotional toll of waiting for treatment. Over half of the respondents said they experienced increased stress and anxiety, while nearly a third reported feeling depressed during the waiting period. Patients expressed feelings of helplessness and voiced concerns about the impact on their mental well-being.
The Patients Association has called for urgent action to address these issues and improve access to timely healthcare. They argue that reducing waiting times is crucial to prevent further deterioration of patients’ health and to alleviate the financial and emotional burdens they face.
The NHS has been under strain for several years, with increasing demands on its services. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges, leading to a backlog of cases and longer waiting times for treatment. The government has pledged additional funding and resources to tackle this issue, but the survey results indicate that more needs to be done.
In response to the survey findings, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care stated that they are committed to reducing waiting times and improving patient care. They acknowledged the impact of long waits on patients and emphasized the importance of investing in the NHS to address these challenges effectively.
Overall, the survey conducted by the Patients Association highlights the negative impact of waiting lists on patients’ health, finances, and well-being. Urgent action is needed to address these issues and ensure timely access to healthcare for all.