- Half of patients over the age of 50 and those who need surgery are in agony every day
- Many have been forced to spend over £1,700 a year on pills and physios
- Sajid Javid warns NHS waiting list of 5.6 million could reach 13 million
Record waiting lists have plunged Britain into a pain epidemic, with half of patients over the age of 50 needing surgery every day in agony.
Many enduring long NHS waits have been forced to spend more than £1,700 a year on pills and private physiotherapy, figures show today.
Some have gotten into debt to cover the cost or have resorted to crowdfunding for donations online.
Health groups have warned that many people are ‘silently suffering’ and feel like they have been ‘forgotten’ because the NHS has not updated them on when they can expect treatment.
New research shows that half of patients over the age of 50 who need surgery are in pain every day as NHS waiting lists get longer.
Research by watchdog Healthwatch England plus charities Independent Age and Versus Arthritis laid bare the scale of the problem as the country recovered from the pandemic.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid had warned that the record NHS waiting list of 5.6 million could reach 13 million.
Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Independent Age, said: ‘Many older people are living in daily pain and experiencing a decline in mental and physical health.
‘Their wait for surgery is affecting their well-being and many feel disappointed and forgotten.’
The charity’s survey found that 71 percent of those over 50 report being in pain while waiting and 52 percent in daily pain. About 55 percent of people in this age group awaiting treatment admit to struggling with day-to-day activities such as washing and cooking.
But the NHS did not help them manage their condition or pain, 47 per cent said.
Meanwhile more than a third of people over 65 surveyed by the charity have been waiting for more than a year for treatment.
Versus Arthritis found that 54 percent of people waiting for surgery are opting out to ease their pain.
The findings come after Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that a record NHS waiting list of 5.6 million could reach 13 million.
Private health care, over-the-counter pain relievers and physiotherapy cost an average of £1,739 per year, the charity’s survey of 2,059 people showed.
A survey of 8,000 patients by the Independent Age reported that a fifth of those over the age of 50 have paid for private health care in the pandemic while waiting for treatment.
It showed that 54 percent used savings but 8 percent had to call friends or family and 5 percent had to borrow cash.
Healthwatch England found that 42 percent of 1,675 patients surveyed say that waiting is affecting their ability to work and 54 percent say it is harming their mental health.
An NHS spokesman said staff have used additional resources to nearly halve the average waiting time for elective care over the past year.
Yesterday, 32,417 more cases of corona virus were reported in Britain and 58 people died within 28 days.