Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age said:
“We welcome the extra funding for the NHS due to be announced in this week’s Budget. It is essential that our health service is supported as it tries to clear the record backlog of people waiting for life changing treatments.
“While an increase in bed numbers and the creation of surgical hubs are positive announcements to support the NHS expand its capacity and reduce waiting times, these measures alone will not be enough to alleviate the problems facing older people on waiting lists.
“We have yet to hear how the government intends to plug the large workforce gaps that are contributing to delays. Extra machines and tests are great steps, but ultimately will be futile if there aren’t enough trained specialists available to use the new equipment.
“Additionally, there are currently no details on how this funding will practically support people waiting for surgery. Over half of people in later life on the waiting list have told us they are in daily pain. This is unacceptable.
“We also know that around 80% of people in later life on waiting lists have received no support to manage their condition.
“The government must commit to supporting people that are facing long waits for treatment including the introduction of personalised care management plans for those waiting over 6 months.
“We would also like to see more funding for community healthcare services, such as physiotherapists, to help those that are still waiting for a procedure.”