The latest NHS England (NHSE) figures released today show the number of people on the waiting list for a heart transplant rose to a record high of 389,266 at the end of April 2023 in the UK – an increase of more than 8,000 compared to the previous month. .
The latest increase means that the heart exam waiting list has increased by 99% compared to April 2020, a month after the pandemic began. In April 2020, there were 195,715 people waiting for a cardiovascular examination.
The figures also show:
– There were 143,735 people waiting more than four months (maximum expected waiting time target) for potentially lifesaving heart care by the end of April – more than a third (37%) of all people on the waiting list heart care.
The longer you wait for treatment, the higher your risk of disability from heart failure or premature death.
– The number of people waiting more than a year for emergency heart tests and treatment also rose to 11,557 – another record high. Three years ago, in February 2020, only 28 people waited that long.
– New NHSE figures show that average ambulance response time to class 2 calls (including suspected heart attack and stroke) rebounded to 32 minutes in May from 29 minutes in April. The official target is 18 minutes, but the Government has set a new average target of 30 minutes in 2023/24.
‘Shock and danger’
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: “It is shocking and dangerous that the waiting list for cardiac care has doubled in the last three years.
“The longer a person waits, the greater the risk of permanent disability from heart failure or even premature death. Sadly, this could be one of many factors that contribute to the significant number of deaths. related to cardiovascular disease in the past few years.
“The need for cardiovascular care has never been high, but it is harder for people to access it in a timely manner than ever before. More and more heart patients are waiting, and waiting longer.
“We need decisive action now, starting with the Government’s long-awaited workforce plan and investing enough to recruit and keep enough cardiologists, nurses and other professionals. work in facilities fit for purpose.”
WHERE TO FIND HELP FOR YOUR HEART