Andrew Gwynne MP has criticised the Government for cutting nurses and putting patients’ lives at risk as figures show that major A&E units across the North West are struggling and have consistently missed their waiting times targets over the last six months.
Staffing shortages across the NHS have left A&E departments over-stretched and under severe pressure, with reports of ambulances queuing outside and patients left on trolleys for hours on end.
The North West has lost 1,105 nurses since May 2010 and data published by the new NHS England body shows that the target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours has been missed by the A&E unit in Tameside in 18 of the last 26 weeks, with a total of 4,119 people having to wait more than four hours before being seen. The target has also been missed in Stockport A&E units for 24 of the last 26 weeks, with a total of 6,082 people having to wait more than four hours before being seen.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“A&E units in the North West are struggling in a way not seen since the bad old days of the mid-1990s.
“David Cameron promised the NHS would be safe on his watch but instead his Government has haemorrhaged thousands of nurses and did nothing whilst A&Es struggled through the winter.
“It’s shocking that the North West has lost 1,105 nurses over the last three years and it’s patients who are suffering as the missed targets demonstrate.
“Patients should not be subjected to poor care because of Ministers’ failings. The Government must devise an urgent plan to bring all A&Es up to the required standard and ensure there are enough staff on the ground across the NHS to provide the safe care we need.”