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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Waiting for prosperity: Modelling the economic benefits of reducing elective waiting lists in the NHS

The number of people waiting for elective healthcare is at record levels.

As well as compelling moral reasons to reduce NHS waiting lists, there is also a convincing economic case to go further and faster on elective recovery. We find that delivering against the target set by the Elective Recovery Plan would deliver an estimated increase in production of £73 billion over five years.

But delivering a 30 per cent increase in elective activity is a challenging task – and not one that data suggest will happen without further policy intervention. To help identify immediate opportunities for intervention, in this report we explore the most pressing bottlenecks in the elective treatment pathways.