More than 1,000 people face a year-long wait for surgery at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.
The Covid pandemic spiked the number of people waiting for elective surgeries on the Island as non-emergency procedures were stopped. To stop the spread of infection and to focus resources elsewhere, elective surgery was halted nationally and Britain is now seeing significant backlogs.
On the Isle of Wight, In April last year, only 18 people had to face a potential 52-week wait, jumping to 56 people in May. The waiting list however has now rocketed by 1,839% from May 2020 to February 2021 — with 1,086 people facing a 52-week wait for surgery.
Between January and February this year, while the country was still under lockdown and facing the height of the second wave of Covid-19, 340 people were added to the growing waiting list.
In some cases, patients have had numerous cancellations of operations which would have made their lives easier.
Speaking at a meeting of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Board, Joe Smyth, chief operating officer, said he was worried about how the suspension of surgeries could cause harm or even more problems for those on the waiting list.
Mr Smyth said ‘multiple mitigations’ were now in place to try and reduce the risk of further damage to the patient which included frequent revisions of the list to ensure people are prioritised by their needs.
A recovery programme recently agreed by the board will ‘ultimately sort the issue out’ and reduce waiting times on a long-term basis, said Mr Smyth.
Steps have been taken to counteract the effect of Covid-19 by installing new CT and MRI scanners and carrying out weekend procedures — the first of which took place last weekend (10th and 11th April) in the endoscopy unit.