NHS ENGLAND is under “unprecedented strain” due to government cuts, health campaigners warned today after the latest monthly service report showed extreme bed shortages.
More than 100,000 A&E patients waited more than four hours for beds in January — the highest number of “trolly waits” since records began. Of these, about 2,800 waited more than 12 hours.
This is an increase of over 20 per cent and 354 per cent respectively from the same month in 2019.
And the total waiting list for other treatments was estimated to be 4.6 million people at the end of December 2019.
Keep Our NHS Public co-chair Dr John Puntis said the latest figures “once again show the devastating effects of 10 years of Conservative austerity.”
He said: “Rather than boasting about its underinvestment, the government should come clean that its so called ‘plans’ amount to no more than treading water.
“The NHS and the public deserve much better — where are the promised Brexit dividend, the thousands more nurses and doctors, the new hospitals and the investments in community care?
“It’s time to take back control of our NHS from Johnson, Hancock and the private companies like Virgin that have been actively undermining it for all these years.”
Junior doctor Tom Gardiner said the figures “come as no surprise” to anyone working on the NHS front line.
“These are the consequences of a government that holds the public in contempt,” he said.
“Crisis has become the new normal for our health service but don’t be mistaken, the last two months have been some of the worst in the history of the NHS.”
Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Without funded plans for social care, public health and a credible strategy to recruit the staff needed, patients will continue to languish on trolleys or wait longer in pain and distress for treatment.”