Hundreds of thousands waiting for surgery in North West

Video report by Lise McNally

600 thousand people across the North West are now on the waiting list for surgery - after many non-urgent procedures were postponed due to the pandemic.  

The latest figures suggest more than 32 thousands patients in the region have waited more than a year to start treatment, that figure is up from only a thousand back in April. 

Donna Doyle is living in pain after her corrective surgery was cancelled last summer Credit: ITV News

Donna Doyle is one of those patients who has spent the pandemic in pain after her corrective surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis was cancelled in the summer. She told Granada Reports how essential the surgery is:

''If I could describe it to you, it'd be like somebody had put two quite large pebbles inside your shoe, and you were walking on that. So every step I take, I do have pain.

"Its very important, because even though the surgery is elective, it's also essential surgery. And people are living in pain every day, and it's affecting their quality of life and their mental health, and I don't think that can be overlooked to be honest."

Tackling the backlog

A temporary endoscopy unit at in the grounds at Fairfield Hospital in Bury is part of a joint effort to help NHS Trusts catch up. So far, it has cut the backlog for endoscopies from 22 weeks to 13.