PATIENTS in South Gloucestershire have had some waiting times cut by almost 80% since February, new figures show.

According to new data, the North Bristol Trust has seen the number of patients facing the longest waits for treatment drop by more than three-quarters since in the last six months., new figures show.

As part of an effort to clear the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS England committed in February to ending waits of more than two years, except in cases where the patient wishes to delay their treatment.

New figures show there were 40 patients waiting this long for routine treatment at North Bristol NHS Trust as of July 3 – the latest available data – down 78% from 180 at the end of February.

Across England, the number of patients waiting two years or more fell from a peak of 23,778 in January to 3,548 at the start of July.

The King's Fund think tank welcomed the figures, but cautioned the NHS remains in a "state of steady crisis".

Danielle Jefferies, policy analyst at the organisation, said: "Thanks to the huge efforts of NHS staff, significant progress has been made in reducing the number of people facing waits of two years or more for planned hospital treatment.

"But the overall waiting list has continued to grow, and the number of people waiting more than a year is also rising."

Despite the fall in extremely long waits, the latest available data shows 332,000 patients across England had been on treatment waiting lists for longer than a year as of May – including 2,424 patients at the North Bristol Trust.

Ms Jeffries added the new Government will face difficult decisions when it comes to the NHS, and "will need to be honest with the public about the standards of care they can expect".
As of May, 40,634 people were waiting to be treated at the North Bristol Trust – with a record 6.6 million people waiting across England as a whole.