Posted on February 2022 By Jamie Southwell
Government gives the go ahead on plans to recruit an extra 15,000 health and social care staff from overseas by the end of March.
Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, confirmed the decision to bring a further 10,000 nurses and 5,000 support workers from other countries to assist with the high demand of healthcare vacancies within the NHS.
The UK was reported to have nearly 6 million patients in England waiting to begin hospital treatment around last November, becoming the highest total since records started being tracked in August 2007.
Warnings predict the waiting lists could rise to above 10 million at the end of 2024 without an increase in healthcare workers across the country.
However, the government aims to tackle this among other targets set out earlier in the month by Mr Javid when in the Commons discussing future plans for the NHS.
The goals were as follows:
Waiting times longer than two years to be eliminated come this July 2022.
Following with waiting periods over 18 months to be seen by the NHS by April 2023 and over 15 months by March 2024.
Lastly the goals of cutting the time taken to be seen to under a year by March 2025.
Completing a goal already set in place but not met, was to have almost 95% of patients in requirement of a diagnostic test to receive it during 6 weeks, to now be achieved by March 2025.
At least 75% of those being urgently referred from a GP for risk of suspected cancer to be diagnosed and determined on being ruled out within 28 days by March 2024.
Another target not being met is for anyone waiting over 62 days in between an urgent referral for suspected cancer and start of treatment to be seen to before then, with new aims of hitting this by March 2023.
The Health Secretary spoke directly about the matter, saying “Assuming half of the missing demand from the pandemic returns over the next three years, the NHS expects waiting lists to be reducing by March 2024”.
He added “Addressing long waits is critical to the recovery of elective care and we will be actively offering longer-waiting patients greater choice about their care to help bring these numbers down.”
Over the course of the three year plan, a total of 17 million diagnostic tests will be offered to patients confirmed NHS England, streamlining the process of ‘quick and convenient’ checks.