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Matt Hancock dismisses 15m NHS 'hidden waiting list' reports
27 August 2020, 12:11
Matt Hancock has rubbished a report claiming that the NHS has a "hidden waiting list" of 15.3 million patients who need follow-up appointments for health problems following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Health Secretary told LBC: "I've looked into this research since it arrived in the Times overnight, and it is total rubbish.
"It is actually a count of the total number of appointments that there are ... what they've done is counted all the appointments that there are in the NHS.
"If you have an appointment, that is not because you're on a waiting list, it is because you are going to go and see someone in the NHS.
"We measure waiting lists very rigorously and obviously a really important part of the recovery of the country post-coronavirus is getting those treatments that had to be delayed, getting them dealt with.
"But let's deal with the facts rather than a spurious survey."
The Sun reported the official waiting list currently has 3.9million people on it as it records patients who have not yet had their first hospital appointment after being referred by their GP.
But, according to the Times, new calculations show the "hidden" waiting list stands at 15.3million as patients await for follow-up appointments for their health problems.
NHS bosses have blasted the study as "flawed" and "self serving".
Medical bosses insisted now hospitals have come through the first wave of Covid-19 they can get back to business as usual.