New figures show big increase in NHS waiting times since election

There has been a 33 per cent increase in the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment in the 12 months from May 2010 to May 2011.

There has been a 33 per cent increase in the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment in the 12 months from May 2010 to May 2011, up 6,902 from 20,662 to 27,564.


Shadow health secretary John Healey said the situation was “getting worse by the month”, adding:

“David Cameron has pledged to keep waiting times low but these new official figures show that when compared with same period a year ago almost 7,000 more people were waiting longer than 18 weeks to get hospital treatment… It is clear that people can’t trust David Cameron to keep his NHS promises.

“The NHS is starting to go backwards again under the Tories. Instead of concentrating efforts on improving services for patients, ministers have spent a wasted year forcing through their reckless and damaging NHS reorganisation.”

Indeed, the situation could get a lot worse if the government’s Health and Social Care Bill goes through as it is – despite the claims from health secretary Andrew Lansley that they have listened.

As Debbie Abrahams MP wrote earlier today on Left Foot Forward:

“In spite of the NHS Future Forum’s recommendations, there are many reasons why this Bill is still a threat to our NHS. As a starting point the government failed to recommit the full bill, leaving the Opposition unable to scrutinise how clauses in the amended bill would interact…

“This bill will be a disaster for the NHS. What the NHS needs is appropriate reform and proper accountability – but definitely not the opening up of the market.”

The data for May 2010 can be downloaded here, and for May 2011 here.

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