New statistics reveal NHS waiting times are nearly 50% longer than we thought


A new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the NHS has found that waiting lists for appointments, tests and treatments with the NHS are much longer than previously reported, with as many as 9.7 million people waiting for treatment.

A survey that took place between January and February 2024, found concerning statistics about the true length of wait times for people across the country, with 1.4 million people waiting more than a year for an appointment.

These statistics can be worrying, considering we never know when we will need to call upon health services. With some conditions, time is of the essence, making the truth about waiting times unnerving.

Other statistics found included:

  • 7 million people are awaiting an NHS appointment
  • One in every five people in England are stuck on a waiting list
  • 5 million people said it was difficult or very difficult to get a GP appointment
  • 670,000 people have been waiting for more than 18-months

Understandably, it’s a worrying thought that when we require health services, that we’ve been able to rely on all our lives, we may be left with long waits, causing more stress and worry, potentially worsening our conditions.

How can long waiting times affect us?

Long wait times for crucial appointments can have many affects on us including:

  • Worsening injuries and illnesses if diagnosis and treatment are delayed
  • Emotional stress, from not knowing when you will get your appointment or treatment and a potentially worsening condition
  • Poor quality of life, if living in pain or unable to do as much, it can lead to feeling down, frustrated, and even depressed in some cases.

Although it can seem like waiting for the NHS is our only option, take reassurance that there are other options, that may be more accessible and affordable than you think. With statistics like these on the rise, it may mean that when we need it, private health care is the quickest and most reassuring option. It’s important to take these things into consideration and begin to think about cover, so you’re not left with large medical bills that could have been avoided.

Waiting room


Exploring Healthcare Options

Often private medical insurance is much more affordable than initially expected and can be a huge reassurance to have. Knowing you can have almost instant access to a GP, and no long waiting lists, to get to the bottom of your health concerns. Private health provides peace of mind, but also means putting our health first.

PMI doesn’t stop there, and embodies healthier lifestyles, learn more about other benefits of PMI here.

In an ideal world, relying on private medical insurance would be a luxury, however, today, private health plays a big role in supporting the strain on the NHS and letting people prioritise their health and well-being, whilst being affordable.

Going private is becoming a choice for many with 820,000 day cases and inpatients treated in 2022. This shows the demand for going private and people taking their health into their own hands.


Facetime call with a doctor


What's next?

PMI really can be affordable and accessible to anyone. It may fit into your plan much better than you’d expect. Having health insurance is something worth considering as you never know when you’ll need to get treatment quickly, and with year long waits, it becomes more appealing.

Think about what's important to you

As much as we don’t like to think about it or try to put it to the back of our minds, it’s a good idea to take time out to think about what’s important to you, and what you’d do if you needed to call on health care services quickly. The great thing about private medical cover is that it really can be suited to you and have your needs and circumstances at the forefront.

Chatting with an expert

We’d always recommend chatting with one of our insurance experts. We’re proud of our advised service and recommendations we provide to customers. We’re continuously praised for having genuine conversations and never pushing our customers into taking out a policy. We want what’s best for each person and would never want to sell a policy that was not right for someone.

Having an informal chat with one of our team is a great way to understand health insurance cover, what you could be covered for and how much you’d expect to pay. Our advisers will spend time with you and ensure they understand all your needs and you fully understand the details of the policy.

Fill out the get a quote form below and one of our advisers will give you a call. Or feel free to go right a head and give our team a call on: 01285 864670




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