Joint statement on children’s waiting lists for surgery increasing at double the rate of adults
12 Jul 2023
Whilst much of the initial focus around elective recovery has been on reducing the adult surgical waiting list, we are concerned that children’s waiting lists are now increasing at double the rate of adult lists while surgical activity lags behind adult activity. For children, there can be potential life-long consequences of lengthy delays for surgery.
These consequences not only affect the child and their family but may also affect that child’s ability to contribute in future to the population as a whole, in terms of independence for work and housing.
Many Trusts have looked at how their service for the children’s elective recovery programme can return to pre-pandemic levels, and
We would urge all Trusts, supported by their regional Operational Delivery Networks, to review the current situation so that children’s surgery is fully considered within the whole scope of elective recovery.
Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Mr Ian Sugarman, British Association of Paediatric Surgeons
Dr Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
Professor Duncan Summerton, President of the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS)
Dr Simon Courtman, President of the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (APAGBI)
Notes to editors:
- NHSE’s May data showed that waiting lists for admitted pathways rose by 28% for children compared to 8% for adults and waiting lists for non-admitted pathways increased by 42% for children compared to 30% for adults. Overall, waiting lists for children and young people (CYP) increased at double the rate of adults.
- The Royal College of Surgeons of England provides world-class education, assessment, and development to 30,000 surgeons, dental professionals and members of the wider surgical and dental care teams, at all stages of their career. Our vision is to see excellent surgical care for everyone. We do this by setting professional standards, facilitating research, and championing the best outcomes for patients.
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