Publication Health and Care 17 February, 2021

What's next for the NHS? Building the resilience of the health and care system

Read the full report  

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the transformation of the National Health Service into the National Covid Service.

A year into this crisis and with the benefit of some hindsight, it is clear that too little consideration was given to the implications of a complete reallocation of resources away from ‘business as usual’.

Urgent action is needed in the NHS to meet a ballooning backlog of procedures put on hold during the pandemic and build a more resilient health care system.

This report, produced jointly with Edge Health, shows the scale of the challenges the NHS faces:

  • 6 million fewer patients were referred to treatment in 2020 than in 2019
  • 10 million patients could be on a waitlist by April
  • By April, 52-week waits for care are projected to have risen 12,008% since March 2020 (by December they had already risen by 7139%)
  • Cancellations of diagnostic testing and delayed treatment may lead to 1,660 extra deaths from lung cancer alone