The website of the Clinical Services Journal

Tackling waiting lists with flexible capacity

The elective surgery waiting list has continued to grow and millions of people are now waiting for a procedure in England. It is clear more capacity is needed to tackle the backlog, but where will this additional capacity come from?

The elective surgery waiting list has continued to grow and millions of people are now waiting for a procedure in England. Capacity limitations during the pandemic – in terms of staff, equipment and physical space – in combination with lower activity levels, have meant that recovery has been slower than hoped. It is clear more capacity is needed to tackle the backlog, but with the need so substantial, where will this additional capacity come from?

While building new hospitals and operating theatres is an option and may be the answer in the longer term, new facilities take time to plan and build – in many cases years. The problem is that during that time the backlog will continue to build, causing further delays to recovery, which means even more resources will be needed to catch up. 

Capacity can be released internally by improving effectiveness in existing operating theatres by fitting in more patients or working longer hours, but with staff shortages, COVID-19 and a need for social distancing, that has been difficult to achieve without additional physical capacity. At a national level at least, there are few signs of real improvement, despite efforts by individual Trusts. Longer waits can have a serious impact on patients. The very term ‘elective procedures’ is increasingly misleading and implies that patients have a choice of whether or not to go ahead with an operation. The reality is that many of those patients will be experiencing increasingly chronic pain and impairment to their lives, and the majority will not consider their procedure a choice, but a necessity.

Log in or register FREE to read the rest

This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text. If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.
Register

Upcoming Events

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Exeter

University of Exeter
22nd June 2024

EBME Expo

Coventry Building Society Arena
26th - 27th June 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Cardiff

TBA, Cardiff
13th July 2024

AfPP Annual Conference 2024

University of Warwick
2nd - 3rd August 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - London

Cavendish Conference Centre, London
14th September 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

Upcoming Events

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Exeter

University of Exeter
22nd June 2024

EBME Expo

Coventry Building Society Arena
26th - 27th June 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Cardiff

TBA, Cardiff
13th July 2024

AfPP Annual Conference 2024

University of Warwick
2nd - 3rd August 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - London

Cavendish Conference Centre, London
14th September 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

Step Communications Ltd, Step House, North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3DR
Tel: 01892 779999
www.step-communications.com
© 2024 Step Communications Ltd. Registered in England. Registration Number 3893025