COVID-19: Disabled women up to 3.5 times more likely to die from coronavirus - as figures reveal impact of pandemic on NHS

·1 min read

Disabled women are up to three-and-a-half times more likely to die from COVID-19, figures show, as numerous key statistics released today reveal the impact of the pandemic on the UK's health system.

Between 24 January and 20 November last year, the risk of death was 3.5 times higher for disabled women whose day to day activities are limited a lot compared with non-disabled women, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The risk was two times higher for women whose daily activities are limited a little.

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Disabled men were also at higher risk, although slightly less so than women.

Meanwhile, the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment in England is at its highest level since 2008, NHS England figures show.

Some 224,205 people had been waiting more than a year in December - up from just 1,467 in the same month in 2019.

A total of 4.52 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of December last year, the highest number since records began in August 2007.

Waiting times for key diagnostic tests in England also rocketed over the same period.

Some 345,664 patients were waiting more than six weeks for one of 15 standard tests, including an MRI, non-obstetric ultrasound or gastroscopy in December last year - up from 41,906 in the same month in 2019.

Tim Mitchell, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: "COVID-19 continues to take an enormous toll on hundreds of thousands of people across the country left waiting for an operation...

"Many are waiting 'in limbo', reliant on painkillers, and unable to get on with day-to-day family life or work."