I have received a large number of emails recently regarding the current NHS waiting times and the government’s lack of a plan to reduce how long patients are having to wait in A&E, for routine operations and for cancer care.
Patients are repeatedly being let down by a Government which has spent nine years underfunding the NHS, imposing the biggest cash squeeze in its history and cutting public health and social care budgets.
A&E waiting times are now at their worst level since records began. I believe this is a damning indictment of years of austerity and wider cuts imposed upon health and care services by this Government. During January, only 84.4% of patients were treated or admitted in four hours – well below the 95% threshold.
The government’s decision to ignore the clear issues which we are currently facing in our NHS is negligible. Instead of putting patients first with a clear plan to restore the A&E standard, Ministers are looking at scrapping it altogether, despite opposition from doctors who work within these struggling A&E departments. The Government has already announced their plans to abandon the targets set for waiting times for at least another year.
Despite the brilliant efforts of NHS staff, who work tirelessly in the face of increasing pressures, and have faced years of pay restraints in the era of austerity, the government are once again failing our NHS and its staff with insufficient funding. Along with not setting out a clear plan as to how they will solve the issue of recruitment within the NHS.
At the last election I stood on a manifesto which promised to fully fund the NHS and secure sustainable future funding for the social care sector. The manifesto also pledged to make sure that it was properly staffed so that they could continue to carry out the brilliant work which they already do.
I can promise you that both myself, and my Labour colleagues will continue to fight for an NHS which is properly funded so that they can continue with the amazing work which they already do.