Record high numbers of people waiting for NHS treatment coupled with record long waiting times meant that around 117,000 people lost their lives while waiting for treatment last year. At South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust113 people have died whilst on waiting lists in the last year.

Labour’s Bryn Turner said,

“Too many people in Stratford are dying in pain and discomfort because NHS waiting lists are far too long. That’s an outrage, it’s not good enough, and it has to change.

“But the sad truth is the longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer people will wait for care. And let’s be clear, they can’t blame this on the pandemic – waiting lists were already at record levels before the pandemic.

“Britain needs a fresh start. In power, Labour would ensure that our health service has the staff, equipment and modern technology it needs to provide the care local people deserve.”

Results of freedom of information requests to individual NHS trusts shows that the crisis in the NHS is leaving people in pain and discomfort at the end of their lives.

The number is double the number of deaths on waiting lists four years ago in 2017/18, which stood at around 60,000. There were around 3.8 million patients waiting for care in 2017/18 compared with 6.5 million today.

University Hospitals Plymouth Trust had the highest number of deaths of patients on waiting lists of those trusts which replied, with 3,324 patients passing away in 2021 before their planned treatment. Barts Health Trust in East London saw 2,512 patients on waiting lists die in 2021, while the figures were 1,385 for South Tyneside and Sunderland and 1,487 for the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital Trust. 6 patients waiting for care from Sheffield Children’s Trust also passed away last year.

The news comes as figures from the NHS show there are now 6.5 million patients waiting for NHS care, the longest waiting list in the NHS’s history, with 323,000 having been waiting for more than a year.

NHS Waiting Times Graphic - December 2021
NHS Waiting Times Graphic - December 2021

Notes to editors

  1. Coverage of a similar Freedom of Information request in 2017/18

10,000 more patients die each year on waiting lists | UK | News |

  1. Results from a freedom of information request by the Labour Party to every NHS trust in England received 67 responses out of 224 trusts. The total number of deaths from those who responded was 34,896 deaths, which when extrapolated out to all trusts would be around 116,667 deaths. Full results here:
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