The detrimental impact Covid has had on NHS waiting lists means that six million patients in the UK are currently waiting for procedures1. As part of our series of Waiting Patiently articles, we look at the impact this is having on gynaecology services and the women waiting for them.
Gynaecology the worst hit
The worst hit area affected by the NHS backlog is gynaecology2. Common conditions which fall under the gynaecology specialism include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts and cervical polyps. These can often be acutely painful and debilitating.
In April 2021, 380,000 women were waiting to see a gynaecologist compared to 286,000 in 2020. This is a staggering increase of 34 percent; the largest increase of all the medical specialisms2.
This is not new either, there was a backlog before the pandemic and a report in 2018 highlighted that 90 percent of gynaecological departments had gaps in their rotas3. This together with waiting-lists exacerbated by the pandemic suggests this waiting challenge isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
What does this mean for women?
Dr Edward Morris, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said, “The current backlog we are facing in gynaecology is made up of people needing clinically urgent treatment, so many women are being left in pain4.”
The knock-on effect for the women waiting in pain can lead to anxiety, distress and potential adverse outcomes5.
Gynaecology in our top-ten services claimed
Our own data supports this need for gynaecology services and in 2020, we saw gynaecology amongst the top ten reasons our members made a claim on their Health+ policy6.
You matter more
As advances in diagnostics and treatment continue to progress, your clients with health insurance can benefit from this. For example, the Cromwell Hospital recently opened an international endometriosis centre and eligible members of The Exeter who have opted for the extended hospital list are able to access this7.
Health insurance can help your clients protect their future-health by providing access to medical care such as gynaecology services. This means that if the need arises, they won’t have to wait patiently and join one of these long waiting lists and will be able to access the care they need to reduce the chance of prolonging painful symptoms.
If you would like to find out how health insurance from The Exeter can protect your client’s health now and in the future, why not book an online briefing with our team.
• Pre-existing conditions may be excluded from your client’s cover.
• Health+ gynaecological services cover women born as female.
5. 2020-05-29-restoration-and-recovery---priorities-for-obstetrics-and-gynaecology.pdf (rcog.org.uk)
6. The Exeter Claims Data