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Addressing the NHS Rheumatology backlog


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS waiting lists have been steadily increasing and today, they have reached crisis levels. According to data from NHS England, the current patient backlog is 35 times higher than one year ago, with a staggering 5.1 million people awaiting treatment.

Rheumatology services bear the brunt of NHS backlogs

Rheumatology services have been among the worst affected, with longer waiting lists than for many other NHS services. Incredibly, some patients are facing delays of almost 7 years for initial appointments with a rheumatology consultant, whilst patients with urgent conditions face waiting up to five years for an initial assessment.

Patients awaiting knee and hip replacements are facing the longest waits, during which time their conditions are worsening and they are forced to live with painful and debilitating conditions. Tracey Loftis, head of policy and public affairs at the charity Versus Arthritis said:

“It is critical that people with arthritis are not left struggling in pain with their lives put on hold. As longer waits lead to more severe joint damage and reduce the chance of future operations being successful, this issue becomes even more unacceptable.”

What can be done?

NHS England needs to act quickly in order to address existing backlogs and prevent waiting lists from getting longer. Crucially, urgent action needs to be taken in order to improve the patient experience and help people who are needlessly living with crippling pain.

According to statistics from NHS Digital, the problem is not staff shortages in the NHS. There are currently record numbers of NHS doctors and nurses working in England: with 5,600 extra doctors and 10,800 more nurses working in the health service than a year ago.

The key to addressing NHS backlogs lies in rapidly and effectively mobilising services, directing care where it is needed most and responding to demand in a flexible, responsive way.

How Medinet is helping

Medinet can reduce waiting lists significantly in as little as two weeks, by providing high quality care to patients who need it most, without delay. Our teams of qualified experts offer fully-managed, tailored solutions which can be brought to you in any setting, at a time that suits you, and within any speciality.

Rapid resourcing

Our specialised clinical teams can treat conditions including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Crystal Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Gout & Vasculitis and Osteoporosis, helping you to reduce rheumatology waiting lists quickly and within tariff, whilst maintaining compliance and regulatory standards.

We offer a fully flexible service, which can support hospitals and trusts during evenings, weekends, or 7 days a week. Our NHS partners rate our ability to mobilise their services effectively and immediately as 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Unrivalled patient safety

Not only do we work with NHS trusts to make significant improvements to their elective capacity and quickly reduce waiting lists, our highly skilled staff also guarantee the highest level of patient safety and improved clinical outcomes, with just 2% DNA (did not attend rates).

Staff satisfaction

Our expert staff also report high levels of job satisfaction: 9 out of 10 of Nurses and Consultants agree that being part of Medinet gives them the opportunity to experience working in a variety of different NHS Hospitals, alongside other talented health care professionals.

Get in touch

If you need additional support to reduce waiting lists, then Medinet can help. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help provide rapid, sustainable improvements to your rheumatology service.

How can we help you?

Contact us for your tailormade solution