OP WAITING AT 5-YEAR HIGH as hospitals grapple with Tory A&E crisis – Gwynne

NHS-waiting-list-007Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, commenting on referral to treatment figures released today by NHS England for June 2013, said:

“Waiting lists for operations are at their longest in five years as hospitals grapple with David Cameron’s A&E crisis.

“This year, thousands of extra patients are facing the agony of a long-awaited operation being cancelled as overflowing A&E departments need more and more hospital beds. Whole hospitals are being consumed by the crisis in A&E.

“David Cameron wasted £3 billion on an NHS reorganisation that took the focus off patient care. At the same time, almost five thousand nursing jobs were axed and cuts to older people’s care budgets left thousands more vulnerable people arriving at A&E.

“This is further proof you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

Editor’s notes:

1. Referral to Treatment figures released today by NHS England for June 2013 show the waiting list for operations now totals 2.88m patients – the highest since May 2008 and an extra 240,000 patients compared to last June alone.

2. Additional figures published by NHS England on the number of cancelled elective operations, show 35,411 operations were cancelled in the first 6 months of 2013.  Monitor, the hospital regulator, has warned that hospitals have cancelled operations and faced waiting times ‘backlogs’ because of an increase in emergency admissions:

“In some cases, FTs have had to cancel elective work to deal with increased A&E and non-elective pressures and several trusts have reported increases in RTT backlogs.”

Monitor, Performance of the Foundation Trust sector Year ended 31 March 2013, Pg 10

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