Vulnerable patients face long NHS waits8th August 2011
Arthritis Research UK has warned that at-risk patients have to wait for months in pain in order to receive orthopaedic treatment from the health service.
The campaigners said older people were particularly at risk and the situation was getting worse across England.
Patients who need orthopaedic treatment, such as knee and hip operations, have to wait longer than anyone else to be treated by the NHS.
Official statistics have shown that one in six patients has to wait for longer than the 18 week target.
Around 5% of patients have to wait for over six months to receive their operations.
Dr Benjamin Ellis, of Arthritis Research UK, said: "More and more NHS hospitals are trying to save money by making people wait for their joint replacement operations.
"This decline in quality of NHS services is condemning large numbers of people to months of unnecessary pain and disability."
"Depriving people of timely treatment, many of them older people, is unfair and risks going back to the days when people waited months and years to receive their new joint."
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Title: Vulnerable patients face long NHS waits
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 19375
Date Added: 8th Aug 2011