The NHS in England was running at close to maximum capacity before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a sharp drop in routine NHS activity, resulting in more people waiting for treatment, and waiting for longer.
This report will provide a factual overview of NHS backlogs and waiting times following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will explain:
- the points at which patients wait for NHS treatment;
- how trends in waiting times changed before the emergence of COVID-19, and
- the effect that COVID-19 has had on waiting times.
The NAO intends to follow this report with one examining how NHS services are recovering.