The pandemic continues to cause significant disruption to healthcare with thousands of people currently waiting for life saving heart treatment and care.
British Heart Foundation analysis predicts that the number of people waiting for heart care and diagnosis could more than double within two years in England, peaking at around 550,385 in January 2024 if the NHS doesn’t get the investment it needs. If no decisive action is taken, it could take up to five years for cardiac waiting lists in England to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Even before the pandemic began, around 233,000 people in England were on heart waiting lists for heart diagnosis or treatment. Long waits for diagnosis and treatment of conditions like coronary heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure are emotionally distressing and increase the risk of someone becoming more unwell or even dying while they wait for vital care.
This report explores the disruption caused to cardiovascular care and what needs to be done to ensure that heart patients have access to the care and support they need to stay well.