The coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic has brought the county to its knees. With the total cases have now exceeding 1.89 million and with the number of deaths climbing day by day, it’s clear that this pandemic is going to have a profound effect on the ways we live our lives moving forward.
To make sure that we move forward in the right direction it’s crucial that we fully understand the stain this pandemic has had upon our healthcare system under. The NHS entered the pandemic with a relatively low level of beds and staff which has now created a severe demand for care whilst we struggle to find the capacity to accommodate.
This has now lead to our healthcare services in a form of debt. Priority has been put on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic which has lead to other forms of care being put on the back burner until more capacity is available.
In this article, we will be discussing the direct impacts the coronavirus has had upon the NHS and how this has resulted in practices struggling to get their patients the care they deserve.
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Patient Waiting Times Explained
Patient waiting time refers to the time that an individual has to wait before they are seen by a clinic medical staff. It is considered to be one of the most important factors to indicate the quality of service offered by the practice. Patients who have to deal with long waiting times are at a direct barrier to obtaining a healthcare service.
The patient has always had to wait for NHS care services. whether you have been referred from your local GP or dental practice there is always going to be a referral process which creates a time lag before you receive care. This recent event of the coronavirus pandemic has to lead to these waiting times to be substantially longer than ever before.
Long-Term Impacts On Patient Waiting Times
Over the past couple of months, the NHS has been forced to make drastic decision to help free up capacity to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout October/November there has been a significant amount of planned operations cancelled. There have also been several patients being discharged back into the community which has created a huge backlog in non-COVID care services.
Patient Waiting Times For Specialist Treatment
Never before has there been so many people waiting for specialist treatment. The waiting list now stands at 4.44 million which has risen to 123-fold its 2019 value. If we continue to follow along with this trend we will be dealing with this huge backlog of patients over the following years, not only will this result in people not getting the care they need but it will likely cost the NHS millions in government funding.
Improving Patient Waiting Times Post COVID19
Practices around the UK are going to have to evolve if they wish to provide their patients with quality care services. The huge backlog of patents caused by the coronavirus pandemic has created a demand for efficient patient referrals and a simple referral management solution. Clinicians and managers will need to have a system in place to help keep track of all referrals, therefore, ensuring patients find the optimal treatment path.
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