1st October 2014
- More than half of patients are waiting more than 6 weeks for key cancer tests
- In the last year, almost 4,400 people waited more than 4 hours in A&E
- 45,000 people were unable to get a GP appointment the last time they tried
- Over 3,600 went to A&E because they were unable to get a convenient appointment with a GP
Following Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, new figures show that under the Tories, the NHS in Cumbria is struggling to perform. The Government’s £3billion top-down reorganisation of the NHS has diverted funding away from front line care.
NHS England guidance for diagnostic endoscopy tests states that less than 1% of patients should be waiting more than 6 weeks, yet at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, at the end of July, 62.9% of patients were waiting longer than 6 weeks for colonoscopy tests.
Under the Tories, the NHS isn’t meeting the lowered target of 95% of patients seen within 4 hours. Over the last year at NCUHT, 4,400 people waited more than 4 hours in A&E – almost 85 people each week.
When David Cameron became Prime Minister, he scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours and now the latest GP Patient Survey shows that in Cumbria, more than 1 in 5 people had to wait a week or more for a GP appointment or were unable to get one at all, the last time they tried.
By introducing a tax on homes worth more than £2million, closing tax loopholes on hedgefunds and a levy on tobacco companies, Labour will fund 20,000 new nurses, 8,000 new GPs and thousands more staff to relieve pressure on the service. Various reports from the Care Quality Commission and Sir Bruce Keogh have shown that severe staff shortages in North Cumbria have had a detrimental impact on patient care. Labour’s Time to Care fund will ensure that there are enough staff available to provide high quality care.
By scrapping competition rules within the NHS, Labour will also release £100 million worth of funding to reintroduce a guarantee of an appointment with a GP within 48 hours.
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“It is clear that you can’t trust David Cameron and the Tories with the NHS.
“Just this week, thousands of local campaigners have shown how passionately they care about local health services yet the Government just doesn’t want to know. Under the Tories, A&E is going backwards, thousands are unable to get a GP appointment and for the first time ever, the cancer waiting time target has been missed – this is a genuine scandal.
“I have written time and again to the Government regarding staff shortages, and services but Ministers remain in denial. Doctors and nurses work incredibly hard, but there just isn’t enough of them. With Labour, the NHS will have thousands of new staff to provide high quality care.”