Midlands hospitals have the longest waiting lists in England as NHS struggles to cope with backlog

University Hospitals Birmingham Trust has the longest waiting list of any trust in England Credit: PA

The Midlands has more patients than any other region in England who are on NHS waiting lists, as the health service struggles to cope with a backlog.

More than one million people are currently on the NHS waiting list for treatment in the Midlands according to analysis of health data by Labour.

The latest NHS data also revealed that the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust (UHB) has the longest waiting list of any trust in England.

UHB has 184,956 people who are waiting for treatment and care, with 30,000 patients who have been waiting for more than a year.

Wes Streeting MP visits University of Birmingham Medical School and Hospitals Trust Credit: PA

The figures reflect the size of the trust, which runs a number of hospitals including the Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull.

However, it also highlights how many people have been forced to wait for treatment in Birmingham and the surrounding area.

The Trust has treated more than 20,000 Covid patients since the health crisis began, more than any other hospital trust in the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the number of people waiting for treatment across the UK is going to rise.

The total number of people on the NHS waiting list reached six million for the first time ever in November, and there are concerns that the impact of the Omicron wave has driven numbers even higher in the weeks since.

Today Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, visited University of Birmingham Medical School and Hospitals trust to see the Covid research labs and speak with staff.

Mr Street said that despite the obvious pressure of Covid-19, "It doesn’t explain why we went into the pandemic with NHS waiting lists already at a record four-and-a-half million."

Mr Streeting adds: "The Conservatives have a lot to answer for with more than a decade of under-investment in the NHS, which left us poorly prepared for the pandemic."

In a statement a University Hospitals Birmingham spokesperson said: "Teams across our hospitals are working hard to increase the number of treatments available through opening new theatres, creating extra ward capacity on all our hospital sites, innovative Enhanced Peri-Operative Care units to reduce reliance on intensive care units in some complex cases, and increased recruitment – including 80 international nurses recruited to support key areas such as theatres and ITU."Covid-19 unfortunately continues to have a significant impact on our waiting lists, however our incredible staff will continue to clinically prioritise patients, whilst having treated more than 20,000 patients with Covid-19."