Wednesday, 9 May 2018

No immunity

The latest NHS performance data ought to be shocking us all.
In March, fewer patients received treatment in Accident and Emergency (A&E) Departments within the 4 hour target than at any time since records began. Just 76.4% of patients at major A&E departments were treatedwithin 4 hour target. For all A&E units, performance was 84.6%, well below the 95% standard.
Waiting lists for treatment have increased to more than four million. Waiting-times for out-patient and in-patient diagnosis and treatment are increasing day-by-day. We see ambulances backed up outside overcrowded hospitals, operations cancelled, and elderly confused vulnerable patients stranded on trolleys in the corridors of bursting wards.
Waiting-times for GP appointments are increasing and, in many areas, there are problems in recruiting new GPs because the Coalition and Conservative governments actually cut the number of training places.
Now, we’ve had the revelation that 450,000 women did not receive an invitation for breast cancer screenings as they should have done. We all know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and the pain and anguish that brings. To learn that you, or your grand-mother or mother or sister has not been invited to screening just adds to the concern and anguish.
Screening rates are at their lowest level for a decade. Ministerial concentration should be on ensuring that the NHS has the staff and resources need to get that back on track, instead of investigating how these historic mistakes were made. We are entitled to know how this has been allowed to go on for so long and why the problem wasn’t identified earlier.
Do you remember when David Cameron told us that our NHS was safe in the Conservative’s hands? It wasn’t true then. And it isn’t true now.
Why do waiting-times and waiting-lists – like crime – always go up under Conservative governments and always come down under Labour governments?
We must not become immune to what Mrs May and her Conservative colleagues are doing.