Tens of thousands of patients waiting for routine treatment at Wigan's hospitals
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NHS England figures show 52,491 patients were waiting for non-urgent elective operations or treatment at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) at the end of May – up from 50,574 in April and 41,723 in May 2022.
Of those, 3,406 (six per cent) had been waiting for longer than a year.
The median waiting time from referral at an NHS trust to treatment at WWL was 16 weeks at the end of May – up from 15 weeks in April.
Nationally, 7.5 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of May.
Publication of the data coincided with junior doctors walking out for five days in the longest spell of industrial action in the history of the health service.
Consultants are set to strike for two days from Thursday and radiographers across 43 NHS trusts will walk out for two days from July 25.
Separate figures show 1.6 million patients in England were waiting for a key diagnostic test in May – the same as in April.
At WWL, 9,344 patients were waiting for one of 12 standard tests, such as an MRI scan, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy.
Of them, 1,724 (18 per cent) had been waiting for at least six weeks.
Other figures from NHS England show that of 66 patients urgently referred by the NHS who were treated at WWL in May, 50 were receiving cancer treatment within two months.
A month previously, 67 patients were referred, with 56 treated within 62 days.
In May 2022, 63 patients were treated within this period, out of 81 that were referred.
Dr Sarah Scobie, acting director of research at the Nuffield Trust, said: "Figures on NHS performance and GP patient experience illustrate clearly that there will be no sudden return to the waiting times the public have been promised and still expect.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “This Government is working to cut waiting times and the NHS is treating record numbers of patients each day.
“We have virtually eliminated 18-month waits and are taking immediate action to improve urgent care, getting 800 new ambulances on the road, adding 5,000 hospital beds and scaling up virtual wards.”