Rishi Sunak’s promise to cut NHS waiting lists lies in ruins. They’ve gone up by 330,000 since his pledge

"The Prime Minister has failed in the promise he made to the country to cut waiting lists"

Rishi Sunak

The latest figures on NHS waiting lists released today show that while waiting lists fell for a fifth month in England, the number of patients waiting for treatment still remains higher than when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to reduce it.

Sunak made cutting NHS waiting lists one of his five key pledges to voters when he came to power, and declared that he fully expected voters ‘to hold my government and I to account on delivering those goals.’

Instead, he has failed miserably on cutting NHS waiting lists.

Official figures published this morning revealed that there were 7.54 million outstanding NHS treatments in February. That compares to 7.21 million in January last year, when the prime minister made his pledge.

Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It, which campaigns against privatisation of public services and for public ownership, posted on X: “It’s not a mystery why NHS waiting lists are so high

“The NHS gets £40 billion LESS per year than comparable European countries

“If Victoria Atkins wants to reduce waiting lists, she needs to FUND THE NHS (and stop wasting money on privatisation)”.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said that the Prime Minister had failed on his pledge. He said: “The Prime Minister has failed in the promise he made to the country to cut waiting lists, they’re higher than they were when he became Prime Minister, we see the NHS still in the grips of the worst crisis in its history, people waiting far too long for an ambulance and we can’t go on like this, that’s why it’s crucial at the general election this year we see a change with Labour.

“We have a plan to cut NHS waiting lists, delivering 2 million more appointments a year through extra evening and weekend working, funded by closing tax loopholes and clamping down on tax avoidance, because we prioritise doctors, not tax dodgers.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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