Plans to tackle NHS backlog – Healthwatch England response

In a new report, MPs have today warned that tackling the backlog caused by the pandemic is an "unquantifiable" challenge and have called for a broad national health and care recovery plan to be introduced.
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The report, Clearing the backlog caused by the pandemic, was published by the cross-party Health and Social Care Committee calling for the plan to include mental health, primary care, community care, and social care as well as emergency care.  

It finds better short and long-term workforce planning to be a central factor in recovery. It also recommends better communication and engagement with the patients who are facing an extended wait for treatment.

Responding to the report, Jacob Lant, head of policy, research and partnerships at Healthwatch England said:

“The scale of the care backlog is immense, and in the face of such a challenge MPs are right to raise the risk of a return to a target driven approach that concentrates on addressing media headlines.

“What we need now is to reinforce a culture right across health and care services that will focus on delivering what patients and the public are crying out for. That’s a system that is easier to navigate and prioritises communicating with patients regularly to make sure they never feel forgotten, and that provides interim support, such as physiotherapy and mental health support, for people who are facing an extended wait for treatment.”

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