The State of NHS England’s Waiting Lists – November 2021

In order to understand the speed with which every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Regional Team is working to reduce their backlog, the MTG has assessed the number of patients treated in each area across regions, CCGs and ICSs.

Of the 7 regions of NHS England, when looking at the number of patients treated per 1000 people from April to November 2021, the North East and Yorkshire has come first in every single month, treating 5.17 patients per 1000 in November. The North East’s average figure across the April-November period was 0.45 higher than the lone April figure, showing the annual growth within the region.

The North West of England has experienced a fast increase in output throughout 2021, moving from fifth in April to second, and only 0.19 behind the North East, in November. The North West’s November figure was 1.23 higher than that of April

Throughout the summer months, overall output across the 7 regions did decline, however from September to November, these trends reversed, with all but one region (South West) experiencing an increase in output of more than 6% from the October figure.

As the statistics are released for the final months of 2021 and first months of 2022, it is likely that we will see a wide drop in output rates inline with the rapid rise in cases of the Omicron cases of COVID-19, which swept through England in December 2021 and January 2022, and lead to delays to cancelled treatments in many NHS Trusts

Regional Performance – November 2021

 RegionPopulationPatients treated November 2021Number of patients treated per 1000 people% Change
1North East and Yorkshire8,603,72144,511
4North West7,061,41235,147
2South West5,631,11427,160
3South East8,897,83542,334

Waiting List Data – November 2021 

 Region Average (median) waiting time (in weeks)Increase in weeks from November
2North East and Yorkshire9.80.3
1North West10.20.7
6Midlands 10.8-0.2
7East 11.1-0.2
3South East11.3-0.2
5South West12.10.1

Regional Waiting Lists – November 2021

From the months analysed, average waiting times have stayed relatively consistent.

In terms of the average change in waiting times across the April – November period, no NHS England Region saw an average above 1 week or below -1, with all 7 regions seeing an average month on month change between -1 and +1 week.

From the April waiting time to November waiting time, the South East and London both experienced the largest increase, increasing by 1.21 and 1.82 weeks respectively. 

In terms of the largest decrease in average waiting times, the North West and North East, the two top performing regions by November 2021, are leading, decreasing their waiting times by 0.76 and 0.69 weeks respectively.