The [National Health Service’s] goal is that 92 percent of patients referred for treatment wait less than 18 weeks (about four and half months) to start treatment. Waiting 18 weeks for treatment sounds horrendous, but as of November 2022, over 40 percent of patients, or 2.9 million people, waited even longer. For over 450,000 patients, the wait exceeded a full year.
The Times reported the worst news: “There were 1,600 more deaths than usual during Christmas week. … Covid accounts only for a minority of recent extra deaths, focusing attention on ‘compelling’ evidence that the crisis in the NHS is killing hundreds of people a week. … Figures from the Office for National Statistics yesterday showed the third consecutive week of more than 1,000 excess deaths” (i.e., deaths above the normal average level).