Responding to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) briefing on waiting lists in the NHS, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“NHS leaders are working flat out to tackle the backlog of care and make as much progress as they can whilst battling against the enormous strain caused by the gaping hole in the numbers of staff now working in the health service.
“We have still yet to see a much needed fully funded workforce strategy to help tackle the NHS’s 132,000 staff vacancies and relieve the pressure staff are facing in trying to drive down the elective care backlog.
“Meanwhile, the £500 million Adult Discharge fund promised by the government in September to help in discharging medically fit patients from hospital has so far failed to materialise, and the NHS is also grappling with a maintenance backlog of £10 billion.
“Whilst the NHS remains on track to clear the backlog in the timeframe set by the government, with adequate investment and support it could go so much further and faster.”