Thousands of patients in Newcastle routinely wait more than 18 weeks for treatment, new research shows.

Analysis of NHS England figures revealed that more than 8,000 people in the region are currently trapped on waiting lists for minor and serious procedures, leading Labor Party to call for “urgent action” .

Nationally, the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for trauma and orthopedic surgery is now close to a quarter of a million, with 57,488 people waiting more than 52 weeks.

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Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals The NHS Foundation Trust, which operates a number of hospitals and clinics in the city, has 6,306 patients on its registers who wait more than 18 weeks, with a further 2,420 waiting one to two years for treatment.

On average, patients awaiting eye surgery in Newcastle have to wait more than five months to be seen.

Figures from other NHS trusts in the region were not included in the work research.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Patients in every city are being forced to wait longer and longer for treatment amid debilitating pain and anxiety at the risk of permanent disability More and more people are forced to take out loans to become deprived while others have no option but suffer continuous agony and discomfort for months on end.

“Ultimately, patients are paying the price for the Conservatives’ failure to support the NHS and staff over the past decade – leaving the department understaffed, with beds cut and without diagnostic equipment necessary.”

He added: “The last Labor government delivered treatment to patients within 18 weeks. But under Boris Johnson, hundreds of thousands of patients have been waiting for more than a year. Enough is enough.

“The NHS is on its knees and will only get out if ministers listen to staff and patients. A credible long-term NHS bailout to provide quality care is now more than urgent.”

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The maximum wait time of 18 weeks was spelled out in the NHS constitution and gave patients the right to access treatment during that maximum wait time.

The number of people waiting longer than this four to five month maximum has steadily increased over the past five years, before seeing a significant increase during the pandemic.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the numbers will continue to rise as people who have been left out during the worst of the pandemic return for treatment.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs said: ‘Our NHS has overcome significant challenges throughout this global pandemic and we will continue to support them to provide the appointments, surgeries and treatment they need. people need it as quickly as possible.

‘We are already providing a record amount of funding to the NHS, with an additional £ 29bn this year alone to support health and care services, including £ 1bn to help tackle the backlog that has built up. accumulated during the pandemic. “

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