Scottish taxpayers helped to fund cost of eradicating England’s two-year waiting list

Back in February 2023, the Herald’s Health Correspondent, under the above headline, noted:

At the time, we found that they had done that partly, at least, by sacrificing those on the still-long but less than two-year lists:

The UK Government and NHS England have been sneaky again, as they did when they began restarting the clock for A&E patients, after they had been triaged.

They knew how the media feasted on stories of patients waiting more than two years and regardless of the seriousness of the cases, threw money at them, rushing them through private hospitals and at the expense of other targets.

From the BMJ on February 10 2023:

More than three million patients waited longer than 18 weeks for treatment in England in December, the highest number on record, show data for the NHS in England. In November 2022 a total of 2 902 274 waited 18 weeks or longer, and in December this figure rose to 3 051 661, the data on referral to treatment times show.1

Despite the government’s commitment to cut extremely long waits, with a target to eliminate NHS waits of over 18 months entirely by April 2023, the number of patients waiting at least 18 months rose from 48 961 in November 2022 to 54 882 in December. Overall in England 7.2 million patients await treatment.

All things being equal, in the same month, December 2022, you’d expect Scotland to have 305 000 but in fact it had only 20 448 waiting over 18 weeks.

14.52 times more, per head of population, waiting longer than 18 weeks in England than in Scotland


Why will not one media health correspondent in Scotland report this?

Now, Open Democracy have revealed the other factor in clearing the two-year waiting lists – £500 million of UK Government cash:

The government handed almost half a billion pounds to private healthcare companies to fix the NHS backlog last year, yet is still struggling to treat any more patients than it was, openDemocracy can reveal.

Experts say the figure is just scratching the surface, with NHS bosses in England having been given the green light to spend up to £10bn on private health companies as part of the government’s plan to reduce the record number of patients waiting for care.

Again, why will not one media health correspondent in Scotland report this?


10 thoughts on “Scottish taxpayers helped to fund cost of eradicating England’s two-year waiting list

  1. Are there any Barnett consequentials accruing to Scotland because of the money paid to the Private Hospitals to help clear the backlog in NHS England?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John,Maybe Lisa Summers is preparing a big story about it don’t laugh to much.
    On another story we have a certain person in the letter pages of the P@J telling us it is only because of the Barnett consequential Scotland can pay out more.
    This other one and I don’t condone what he has done but another person not treated the same way Nadiam tory.

    Housebound’ tax dodger’s unpaid work punishment could …
    Press and Journal › crime-courts › ho…
    17 hours ago — A £300000 tax-dodger who is too sick to be jailed will probably have to make woodwork projects from home as punishment instead.

    Premium article so could not read it.


      1. Some former fish firm owner, now bankrupt, didn’t pay his taxes, got caught and is wheelchair bound and so will not be able to do regular unpaid work, to much local outrage (‘posted on Facebook’). Clickbait really (no pun intended, that would be well out of plaice).


    1. One thing which Ferret didn’t acnowledge: it refers to the 4-hour A&E waiting times as being from time of arrival to time of leaving, but prior to a couple of weeks ago England started the clock after triage and when treatment began. By doing that they deliberately inflated the numbers being treated within 4 hours and understated total A&E wait-time statistics. However the graphs shown all pre-date that switch, so the England 4-hour figure is inflated and not measured on the same basis as the Scottish figures. Nowhere does Ferret acknowledge this and, by so doing, it too distorts the relative results for Scotland and England.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makes me wonder if it’s just an honest mistake or a deliberate effort to mislead. If it’s the latter I’m really disappointed and would seriously consider cancelling my subscription.


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