Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust which runs the hospital - caring for patients from Horsham and Crawley as well as Surrey - says it is committed to ensuring it provides the ‘best care.’
All hospitals throughout the country had to postpone some operations at the height of the pandemic but all surgical specialties at East Surrey Hospital have now resumed.
Figures from the Nuffield Trust show that in February the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust had 859 patients listed for elective operations who had been waiting a year or more for treatment - a huge increase from just four the previous year.
But overall, the figures show that there were 24,699 people on the trust’s waiting list at the end of February - a decrease of 1,203 on the same time last year.
Trust chief executive Michael Wilson said: “During the unprecedented times that we have faced, like all hospitals we had to postpone some planned procedures.
“Our staff pulled out all the stops to continue providing surgery for the most time-critical cases during the height of the pandemic, and we prioritise patients on the basis of clinical need.
“All our surgical specialties have resumed operating.
“We work hard to meet the national standard for all patients we treat and are committed to ensuring that we deliver the best care to our patients.”
The Nuffield Trust says that figures show that in some parts ofs the country the health service has been set back years because of the coronavirus pandemic with many hospitals facing a ‘major backlog.’
NHS rules state that patients referred for non-urgent consultant-led elective care should start treatment within 18 weeks.
The number of people waiting for a year or more across England has risen to 387,900 – the highest total since December 2007, and almost 250 times that of February 2020.