Lister Hospital, Stevenage
Lister Hospital, Stevenage

Matt Hancock, newly appointed Health Secretary revealed that it would be “very difficult” for hospitals in the East of England to meet the 95% target for people waiting under 4 hrs in A&E this winter speaking to ITV.

We all remember the chaos at the Lister last year, with the hospital telling patients “not to go to A&E unless it’s a life or lime-threatening emergency” because they were unable to cope with the “mounting pressure” according to Lister bosses.

In data provided by NHS England, East and North Herts reveals that there were 7,698 patients who were not seen within this 4hr target between November and January.

Rosie Newbigging, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Welwyn Hatfield said: “A&E waiting time are the longest since records began and the Lister is repeatedly in breach of the 4 hour wait. Currently only 87.3% of patients being seen within 4 hours. Hardly surprising given that people from Welwyn Hatfield now have to travel up to Stevenage to access accident and emergency care. We need local services.

And it is not just A&E waits that are putting patient lives at risk. Cancer wait times are failing to meet basic targets (76.7% of cancer treatment started within 2 months at the Lister compared to a national target of 85%) and waiting times for therapy for people referred through mental health services (only 66% of people seen within 6 weeks in East and North Herts compared to national target of 75%).

These figures show the devastating impact that 8 years of Tory attacks on our NHS have had. Cuts, underfunding, privatisation and closures have taken their toll and it is patients who are forced to pay the price. Behind these statistics and failure by the Tories to meet basic standard are stories of suffering and human misery. Only Labour can be trusted to save the NHS. Our proudest achievement.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, responding to the latest Quarterly NHS Performance data, said: “These performance figures reveal an NHS in year round crisis after years of Tory austerity.

“Failure to meet the flagship 4 hour A&E target for 4 years amid growing waiting lists for treatment must serve as an urgent wake up call for this Government.

“As winter rapidly approaches patients will understandably feel concerned that another extremely challenging winter is on the horizon. The NHS long term plan must include detailed plans to significantly ease pressures on A&Es to end this ongoing misery for patients and staff.”

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