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CHE Policy Forum: Living with long waiting times: approaches to prioritising patients

Patients sitting waiting for doctor's appointment

Thursday 11 July 2024, 2.00PM to 3.30pm

Speaker(s): Naomi Gibbs and Peter Sivey from the Centre for Health Economics are joined by discussant Max Warner from Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Waiting times for elective health care procedures have been increasing in the NHS over the past decade, with further sharp increases resulting from the disruptions in care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased waiting leaves patients in worse health for longer before their procedures and potentially reduces their capacity to benefit from care. With many patients now waiting a very long time for necessary health improving treatments, research on waiting times has increased salience, particularly where there is a focus on informing efforts to prioritise patients to receive procedures. In this forum we will showcase studies funded by CHE’s two policy research units which address waiting time prioritisation based on the health gains from treatment from two different analytical and policy perspectives.

In the ESHCRU-funded project we measure the extent of existing waiting time prioritisation according to pre-operative health for hip replacement patients, including the change in prioritisation during the pandemic, and model the potential health gains from more pronounced prioritisation. In the joint EEPRU-ESHCRU-funded project we demonstrate a new modelling approach to quantifying the health effects of waiting times across common elective procedures and index of multiple deprivation quintile groups and apply this approach to show the different health and distributional consequences of waiting times to inform prioritisation efforts. The policy forum discussion would focus on the results of these two projects and the implications for NHS policies to prioritise patients waiting for elective procedures.

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Location: Church Lane Building York YO10 5ZF and via Zoom