Positive signs of recovery in Humber and North Yorkshire’s health system

Health leaders in Humber and North Yorkshire say there are positive signs “the system is emerging from the long shadow of COVID-19”.

All parts of the NHS have been under extraordinary and sustained pressure following the global pandemic, with demand for care and treatment in many parts of the health service far exceeding pre-COVID levels.

For patients, this may have meant waiting longer for a routine operation, or experiencing extremely busy A&E departments and urgent treatment centres.

However, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) says there are signs the system is starting to recover from some of the major shockwaves that emerged because of COVID-19.

Over the last 12 months we have:-

  • Reduced the number of people waiting more than 65 weeks for a planned operation to 330, from a high of almost 4,000 in March 2023. We now have the lowest number of people waiting a long time for a hospital procedure across the whole of the north east and Yorkshire region.
  • Carried out 12 per cent more operations compared with 2019/20 – well above the national target.
  • Delivered 600,000 more primary care appointments than in the previous year.
  • Seen seven out of 10 people presenting to urgent and emergency care in under four hours, despite our hospital A&Es being significantly busier than last year.
  • Reduced the numbers of patients waiting more than 62 days to start cancer treatment from the date a GP refers a patient for diagnosis, from 728 patients in April 2023 to 458 patients in March 2023.
  • Dramatically improved breast cancer screening rates and are on track to meet cancer diagnosis targets.
  • Delivered hundreds of thousands more appointments in general practice, with four in 10 of those “same day”.
  • Met the target for learning disability Annual Health Checks.
  • Improved access to children and young people’s mental health services, with 3,000 more appointments in February 2024 compared to April the previous year.
  • Become one of the best systems in the country for managing the blood pressure of people with hypertension.
  • Reduced hospital staff vacancy rates and improved rates of registered nurses being recruited from overseas.

NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Bloor, said: “The NHS in Humber and North Yorkshire is working incredibly hard to recover services and bring down waiting times for patients, despite enormous demand on services.

“We’re not where we would like to be yet, but we’re making significant progress.

“Our NHS staff continue to strive to provide quality, compassionate and safe care and treatment, and it’s thanks to their dedication and commitment that we are seeing these improvements”.