Deborah Alsina MBE Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
“Today’s shocking figures show that a record 6 million people are currently waiting for hospital treatment. These figures are extremely concerning as winter pressures and the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant could make things worse, and could mean even more people in later life waiting over two years to be treated.
“We are concerned that Elective Recovery Plan has been delayed. This means those in later life on waiting lists will face a Christmas of anxiety and uncertainty. While we recognise the NHS is under immense strain, older people can’t keep waiting in pain. We need a clear plan for introducing surgical hubs across the country, and a commitment that all patients waiting six months or more have a plan in place to help manage their condition at home. Now is the time for action."