London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Rise in Private Healthcare for Children Amid NHS Waiting List Crisis

The number of children treated in private hospitals in the UK rose by nearly a quarter last year to over 46,000 due to long NHS waits. Sixteen-year-old Georgina Smith from Hertfordshire has waited nine months for heart surgery, while thousands of others face similar delays. Across Northern Ireland, children are waiting up to five years for surgery, risking severe health consequences.
Last year, the number of children treated in private hospitals in the UK rose by nearly a quarter to over 46,000.

This surge is due to long waits in the NHS, prompting families to pay for treatment or use medical insurance.

Figures from private healthcare services show children are becoming 'the forgotten generation' in efforts to reduce NHS backlogs.

Georgina Smith, 16, from Hertfordshire, is among 601 children awaiting heart surgery in England.

After waiting for nine months, she faces severe fatigue and chest pains.

NHS England has acknowledged distress caused to families and is increasing beds for pediatric surgery.

Private surgery numbers rose by almost 20% last year, with children aged 15-17 being the largest group.

In Northern Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons reports dire conditions, with waits stretching up to five years.

Six-year-old Jack Dorrity from Ballymena, awaiting a hip operation since he was three, faces potential permanent disability due to prolonged delays.

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