Labour Research December 2019


Tories’ NHS failure slated

Unions have hit out at the Tories’ failure to invest in the NHS as figures show hospital A&E times hit their worst level on record.

The latest monthly data from NHS England shows that in October, one in four patients at major A&E units waited over four hours to be seen or treated. The national target to see 95% of patients within four hours has not been achieved since July 2015.

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said the waiting times were a searing indictment of the Tories’ austerity programme since 2010.

Other key targets for waiting times have also been missed. For operations, only 84.8% of patients waited less than 18 weeks in September 2019, missing the target of 92%. Meanwhile, 76.9% of cancer patients started treatment within 62 days, missing the 85% target.

Rachel Harrison, national officer for the GMB general union, said the NHS needs “a proper rescue plan”. She said: “We will only get that under a Labour government.”

Labour has pledged to end the Tory NHS crisis with a £26 billion real-terms funding boost to provide quality care, recruit much-needed staff, rebuild crumbling facilities, provide state-of-the-art equipment and bring back the student bursary for nurses. 

The general secretary of the UNISON public services union, Dave Prentis, said the rescue plan could not come soon enough, adding: “The health service would be revitalised by this major cash boost to our most cherished national institution.”