The surgical waiting list backlog following the pandemic is an emergency situation in its own right. Recently published statistics by NHS England indicated that 4.7 million individuals are still waiting for routine operations and procedures (the most since 2007). Any further waves of infections or future lockdown measures are likely to increase pressures on healthcare services, and further disruption to elective surgery, often critical in the treatment of conditions such as cancer.
There is light at the end of the tunnel as the nation is slowly easing out of the latest lockdown and restrictions are being lifted. This has allowed Trusts to resume elective surgeries and start the process of working through the backlog.
The adoption of digital solutions could be the saving grace to help effectively manage the backlog, enabling elective surgery to return to pre covid capacity. Many trusts have fully embraced digital solutions since the start of the pandemic to facilitate normal working for members of staff. By efficiently harnessing the full capabilities of a digitally driven solution to manage waiting lists, maximise operating theatre capacity and conduct digital pre-operative assessments in a covid safe environment.