The CSP has joined calls for urgent action on waiting lists after new research showed that people living in the most deprived areas in England are nearly twice as likely to experience a wait of over one year for hospital care than those in the most affluent.
And while nearly one in five people had eventually gone private, 47% of respondents who had their treatment delayed said they simply couldn’t afford it.
New analysis from The King’s Fund and Healthwatch England shows that more than seven per cent of patients on waiting lists in the most deprived areas of the country have been waiting a year or more for treatment compared to around four per cent of those in the least deprived.
This includes people waiting for planned hospital treatment such as knee and hip replacements, cataract surgery and other common procedures.
Physios play a key role in ensuring patients are supported and able to manage their conditions while waiting for hospital treatments such as knee and hip replacements. The report recognised this, recommending that patients should receive interim support including physiotherapy while on waiting lists.
But access to community rehabilitation services would need to be improved to reduce health inequity, the CSP argued as it joined the call for a better system to manage waiting lists and prioritise urgent treatment.
CSP assistant director Sara Hazzard said,
It is the vicious cycle of health inequity that means that people living in a deprived area are at even greater risk from the long delays to receive vital treatments.
‘Surgery is often a last resort for people who are no longer able to manage their symptoms and so the impact of long waiting times on patients’ physical and mental health is potentially devastating. We know that the surgical outcomes for patients who receive the rehab they need after their operation are better than patients left with little to no help to recover when they return home.
‘We need urgent action to avoid overloading the entire health system, as those who have waited too long are often suffering the triple impact of physical, emotional and often financial hardship.’
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