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Rise in NHS Waiting Times for Heart Patients

An article published by the Guardian has reported on an alarming increase in the number of NHS patients in England with serious heart conditions still facing lengthy waits to receive the care they need. The figures show that the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks is now five times higher than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the procedures these patients are waiting for include life-saving treatments, such as open-heart surgery, stent insertions, and pacemaker fittings.

These increasing figures have caused concern among leading cardiologists, with Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, a cardiologist and associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, quoted as saying:

 “…Not getting the right heart test, treatment or surgery at the right time could lead to an avoidable heart attack, incurable heart failure, or even someone dying prematurely…”

A severe shortage of cardiac specialists has been cited as one of the leading contributing factors, along with an ageing population, industrial action, and widening health disparities that mean that vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by delays.

In response, Prof. Sir Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, asserted that the NHS is working tirelessly to recover services amidst high demand. However, industry experts, such as Danielle Jefferies, a senior King’s Fund analyst, warn that without significant intervention, the NHS will remain “stuck in a cycle of poor performance.”

It is concluded that while there are signs of improvement in some areas, the specific challenges facing cardiac patients highlight the need for targeted solutions that ensure patients receive timely access to life-saving treatments to prevent unnecessary suffering and loss of life.

Source: You can read the full article here:

Number waiting over 18 weeks for NHS heart treatment in England rises fivefold

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

Along with the numbers highlighted in this report, wait times, delayed diagnosis and treatment across many crucial NHS healthcare divisions have long been a cause for concern – read Number of urgent cancer tests increase but patients still waiting too long for results and treatment.

The consequences of a delayed diagnosis or treatment can vary in severity, with even the shortest delays impacting significantly on the type of treatment required, its effectiveness and someone’s overall survival. Unfortunately, in some instances, that may be because a doctor or clinician has failed to provide the appropriate standard of medical care.  

If you or a family member have been affected by a late diagnosis, treatment, or misdiagnosis, we can help. Our experienced medical (clinical) negligence team have the expertise to deal with these sensitive and complex cases. We have represented many people and their families who have suffered as a result of a delayed diagnosis or treatment, including in cardiology claims.  

When things don’t go right, we are here to get you the answers you deserve. Speak to us today about your medical negligence claim. Call us on 0800 987 8800 or make a free online enquiry here, and we will contact you. Alternatively, drop us an email at medneg@bmcf.co.uk.