New research from the House of Commons Library has highlighted the severe pressure being placed on our NHS A&E services because of a lack of government funding.
The research shows that in 2011, soon after the Tory led coalition inherited the NHS from the last Labour Government, on average less than 3% of patients had to wait more than 4 hours in A&E.
Fast-forward to 2018 and this average has jumped to a staggering 15%. Years of sustained underfunding has led to NHS performance figures for A&E being well below the 95% standard, and the worst performance since records began.
Performance issues being undermined by the Government go beyond A&E too. The impact of a blanket cancellation of elective operations has seen waiting lists rise by nearly five per cent compared to last year.
The number of patients having to wait more than one year for treatment has now surpassed 2,000 patients for the first time since August 2012. The number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for elective treatment in February 2018 was 454,342. The 18 week target for planned treatment has now not been met in two years.
Performance against the 18-week target varies by NHS trust. The chart in ‘notes’ shows the number of trusts in each waiting time band.
104 trusts were breaching the 18-week target at the end of March 2018, up from 81 in November 2017. The trusts with the longest 92nd percentile waiting times are currently North Lincolnshire & Goole (36 wks), North Midlands (33 weeks), and Wye Valley (32 weeks).
The number of long waits for admission to hospital has quadrupled over five years, to 1,700 per day.
Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton said in response to the statistics:
“Years of underfunding from the Tories has left the NHS in a critical condition. Sadly, I’m not surprised to see that A&E waiting times continue to get worse. It’s more proof that the Tories cannot be trusted to look after our NHS.
“We’ve just seen the worst winter crisis on record, we have a huge shortage of healthcare staff, and the minimum legal standards of care which patients are entitled to have been abandoned.
“How bad must things get before this Government take action? But if we want a proper remedy, which means long term investment, must have a Labour government.”