THE number of people who have died while awaiting NHS treatment has been revealed. 

Responding to a freedom of information (FOI) request by the Hereford Times, there had been 1,334 deaths of patients in the county who still needed treatment. 

The data was collated from 2019 up to and including April 26, 2024. 

The amount of people who have died in Herefordshire while awaiting NHS treatment

Of those deaths, 579 patients (43 per cent) had been waiting more than 18 weeks. 

Analysis from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine revealed that there were almost 300 deaths a week associated with long A&E waits in the UK in 2023.

It included more than 1.5 million patients who waited 12 hours or more.


Wye Valley HNS Trust said a patient's death can be attributed to many things, such as age and medical condition. 

A spokesperson said: "We are committed to ensuring that patients get the urgent care they need, and recognise that due to the high demand on our services this can result in longer waits for some patients for planned routine procedures.

"Patients waiting longer than expected for routine procedures are reviewed, during their wait, and prioritised based on their clinical need.

What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.

"We recognise the impact longer waits can have for patients and we are working very hard to reduce waiting times. We have increased capacity, so that we can see and treat more patients, which is driving down the length of wait.

"This also includes increased theatre and outpatient productivity and appointment slots, three same day emergency care units for frailty, medical and surgical patients, and our virtual ward, all of which are helping to improve urgent patient flow and free up capacity for routine procedures.

"A £21.5 million new elective surgical hub is due to open at Hereford County Hospital this year to provide additional day case theatre capacity.

"Herefordshire residents are also to benefit from an £18 million Community Diagnostics Centre (CDC), with building work due to commence shortly and complete by summer 2025, to reduce waiting times and improve patient experience."