Health Foundation report: Waiting for care

Waiting for care: Understanding the pandemic’s effects on people’s health and quality of life looks at how the suspension of routine NHS care has affected people’s health and wellbeing via two case studies – hip replacements and diabetes.

In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, 58,000 fewer people than usual had a hip replacement and are therefore waiting. Those waiting are particularly likely to be in certain regions of England, are slightly more likely to be older and slightly more likely to be living in deprived areas. In London there has been only a 15% reduction in admissions for the least deprived area, compared with 30% for the most deprived. The report estimates that across the English population as a whole, we have lost the equivalent of 29,000 years of life spent in perfect health due to these longer waits for hip replacement.

In diabetes there have been an estimated 40,000 missed and delayed diagnoses and reduced referrals to diabetes nurses and education programmes.

Overall, the report concludes, the impacts of delays in hip replacements are likely to have been more significant than for diabetes. Read the full report.