Agony every day for half of over-50s as it emerges thousands are still waiting for surgery amid crisis in the NHS
- Half of patients aged over 50 and in need of surgery left in agony every day
- Many have been forced to spent more than £1,700 a year on pills and physio
- Comes as Sajid Javid warned NHS waiting lists of 5.6million could hit 13million
Record waiting lists have plunged Britain into a pain epidemic with half of patients aged over 50 needing surgery left in agony every day.
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 sunk into debt covering the cost or have resorted to crowdfunding to plead for donations online.
Health groups warn many are ‘suffering in silence’ and feel like they have been ‘forgotten’ because the NHS has not updated them on when they can expect to be treated.
New research shows half of patients aged over 50 in need of surgery are in agony every day due to the lengthening NHS waiting list
Research by watchdog Healthwatch England plus charities Independent Age and Versus Arthritis lays bare the scale of the problem as the country recovers from the pandemic.
The findings come after Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that record NHS waiting lists of 5.6million could hit 13million.
Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Independent Age, said: ‘Many older people are living in daily pain and experiencing declining mental and physical health.
‘Their wait for surgery is affecting their wellbeing and many feel frustrated and forgotten.’
The charity’s poll found 71 per cent of the over-50s report being in pain while waiting and 52 per cent are in daily agony. Some 55 per cent of this age group waiting for treatment admit struggling with day-to-day activities such as washing and cooking.
But the NHS has not helped them to manage their condition or pain, said 47 per cent.
Meanwhile more than a third of the over-65s surveyed by the charity have been waiting more than a year for treatment.
Versus Arthritis found that 54 per cent of those with the condition waiting for surgery are forking out to ease their pain.
The findings come after Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that record NHS waiting lists of 5.6million could hit 13million
It is costing an average of £1,739 a year for private healthcare, over-the-counter painkillers and physiotherapy, the charity’s poll of 2,059 people revealed.
The survey of 8,002 patients by Independent Age reported that a fifth aged over 50 waiting for treatment have paid for private healthcare in the pandemic.
It shows 54 per cent used savings but 8 per cent had to call on friends or family and 5 per cent had to borrow cash.
Healthwatch England found that 42 per cent of 1,675 patients it surveyed say the wait is affecting their ability to work and 54 per cent say it is harming their mental health.
An NHS spokesman said staff have used additional resources to almost halve average waiting times for elective care over the past year.
Yesterday another 32,417 cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK with 58 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.