THE NHS waiting list for an appointment at Oxford University Hospitals Trust has reached more than 51,000 this year.

According to the latest NHS figures at the end of September 2021, there were 51,610 people on the waiting list for Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

1,642 people had been waiting for more than a year for an appointment and 70 people had been waiting more than two years.

In March 2020, at the start of the Covid pandemic, there were 4,235,970 people on the NHS waiting list in England.

Figures show that the standard of 92 per cent of people being seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the NHS and waiting times.

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The national waiting list is now 37.7 per cent higher than it was before Covid-19 hit the UK.

The current figure means that just over 1 in 10 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

This massive backlog is affecting people living in Oxfordshire and MP for Oxford East Anneliese Dodds, is calling on the Government to help OUH with a plan to staff and support the NHS.

Ms Dodds said: “If people in Oxford can’t get the timely care they deserve, there will be devastating consequences.

“The doctors, nurses, and other health care staff at Oxford University Hospitals are doing amazing work, trying to see as many people as they can and provide quality care. But there’s only so much they can do after a decade of underfunding and without the staff numbers they need.

"I call on the Government to come to OUH’s aid with a plan to staff and support the NHS in order to bring down waiting lists.”

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Nationally, the NHS is short of 100,000 staff, including 7,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses.

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “We’ve heard serious warnings from hospital chiefs about the unsustainable pressure the NHS is under. These figures are confirmation of the dangerously lengthy waiting times patients are forced to endure and the scale of pressure on overwhelmed A&Es.

“The coming winter weeks are set to be the most challenging in history for the NHS. It’s now urgent Ministers fix the stalling vaccination programme, resolve the immediate crisis in social care and bring forward a long term plan to recruit the health care staff our NHS desperately needs, which Rishi Sunak has failed to provide despite imposing a punishing tax rise on working people.”

A spokesperson for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "During what has been a challenging time for the NHS, staff have worked hard and cared for patients needing critical care while continuing to see as many non-urgent patients as possible.

“Patients waiting for treatment will be prioritised based on clinical need and we continue to urge anyone who needs help to come forward to get the care they need.”

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