Following a visit to the Royal Papworth Hospital last week, Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Daniel Zeichner MP have slammed Tory leadership contenders for discussing how much they plan to cut the NHS by, rather than how they will fix long waiting lists.

Figures from the NHS show that 4672 people are waiting for NHS treatment at Papworth and another 55,881 at Addenbrooke’s (Cambridge University Hospitals Trust). Shockingly that includes 3655 people who have been stuck on waiting lists for more than a year.

At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic 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. Now the hot weather is putting even more strain on doctors and nurses.

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.

Commenting, Daniel Zeichner MP said:  

“Too many people in Cambridge are waiting for care and they are waiting longer than ever before, often in pain and distress. When Wes and I visited Papworth, we were wowed by the world class work of surgeons, and the wonderful care patients were receiving. But we also know that staff are being stretched like never before. My postbag is full of people struggling to get appointments and waiting anxiously for treatment. A decade of Conservative mismanagement left our NHS crying out for a change in government.” 


Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:  

“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.”

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