There are more than five million people waiting for hospital treatment across the country

In this report, we focus on older people in England waiting for common elective or planned surgical procedures.

In this report, we: 

  • Examine the issues affecting older people’s access to surgery, both pre- and post-pandemic. 
  • Look at how longer waiting times affect people in later life. 
  • Explore what older people say about their experience of waiting for surgery. 
  • Consider what changes could make this experience better. 

We are calling on the government and the NHS to take further steps to tackle the growing backlog of hospital treatments, and to ensure that people receive appropriate support, communications and treatment while waiting.
We urge the government and NHS to listen to older people’s voices and take this opportunity to transform the waiting period from one of anxiety to one of patient empowerment, preparation and holistic support.