Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has slammed the Tory Government for failing to tackle waiting lists after new figures highlighted shocking waiting times across Stockport and Tameside.
Figures from the NHS show that over 20,000 people are waiting for NHS treatment at Tameside and Glossop Trust, and over 41,000 in Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. Across the two regions, more than 4,200 people have been waiting more than a year.
At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of Tory mismanagement there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, then a record high. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, 1 in every 9 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.
The NHS went into the latest wave of Covid infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched.
The Conservative Government published its elective care recovery plan for the NHS this week but failed to set out how it would address the workforce shortages the NHS is facing. The plan set the Government’s ambition as beginning to reduce waiting lists in 2024.
Andrew Gwynne, who is also Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, said:
“These figures show that people across Tameside and Stockport are waiting for care, and they are waiting longer than ever before.
Let’s be clear, NHS staff in Tameside and Stockport have worked heroically throughout the pandemic, but they are stretched and unsupported because of choices made by this Conservative Government.
Our NHS is in desperate need of a Government that values the NHS and its staff, and will tackle these soaring waiting times.
Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, added:
“One in every nine people is now waiting for NHS care, and they are waiting longer than ever before.
“Hundreds of thousands of patients have now been waiting for care through three Conservative Health Secretaries. The only discussion of the NHS in the Conservative leadership election seems to be about how much they plan to cut it by. We may have a new Prime Minister in two months’ time, but only a Labour government will give Britain the fresh start it needs.
“Labour will rebuild our NHS with the staff, equipment and modern technology needed to treat patients on time again.”