Around 65,000 people are waiting for treatment in Lincolnshire’s hospitals, with more than 3,800 in the queue for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a comparison, in March 2020, just seven people waited more than 52 weeks for treatment. The figure is now at 3,856.
Of this total, approximately 1,800 are waiting for treatment in United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT), and the remainder are waiting out of the county or from other providers.
The number of people waiting in total for treatment in March 2020 was 52,000, and it is now around 65,000.
Over 3,300 people waited at least a year to be treated in Lincolnshire hospitals in February this year, compared to just one in February 2020.
Both ULHT and NHS Lincolnshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said they are working closely together to restore services as quickly as possible, addressing the long waiting times for time critical surgery.
They are putting particular focus on elective care, due to many services being stood down last year to release theatre staff to support the increased demand on the intensive care unit (ICU) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesperson from NHS Lincolnshire’s CCG said: “Clearly the COVID pandemic has had a huge impact across the entire country on how long people are having to wait for treatment, and this is no different in Lincolnshire.
“We are working closely with providers of care across Lincolnshire to restore services and achieve – where possible – the ability to treat as many patients as we can, recognising the continued social distancing measures that impact our ability to treat patients in the way we have done previously, although it is important to note that it is safe to attend hospital appointments or planned surgery.”
They added: “We realise that this is a difficult time, especially for those people who are still waiting for treatment, and we apologise for the distress this will have caused.
“We are doing everything in our power to address this and to introduce initiatives that will make a major contribution to reduce the length of time people are waiting.”