Figures from the NHS reveal that more than 16,000 people are routinely having to wait more than four hours for emergency care at A&Es at University Hospitals Birmingham. Shockingly, 749 people locally had to wait more than 12 hours to be admitted to accident and emergency and just 50% of patients were admitted to A&E were seen within 4 hours. This is against the NHS targets which say that 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred, or discharged in that time.
Accident and emergency departments across the country are facing huge pressures. As the Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, admitted, a decade of Conservative mismanagement left the health service “wanting and inadequate” when the pandemic struck.
There are now also 6.73 million people on the NHS waiting list in England as of June 2022. This is the highest ever recorded. At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of Tory mismanagement 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 and again in Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham has seen some of the worst rates in the country, with only 41.6% treated within 18 weeks.
With these numbers getting worse and worse, Preet Kaur Gill MP has written to Professor David Rosser, the Chief Executive of the Trust, to ask what the Trust is doing to improve performance. Given growing waiting times don’t just stop at emergency medicine, the Birmingham Edgbaston MP is looking to work with the hospital to see that they receive the necessary support and assistance before it heads into the more challenging autumn and winter months.
Commenting, Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston said:
“Patients in University Hospitals Birmingham in need of medical attention are forced to wait far too long to be seen, left for hours often in serious pain.
“Unacceptable waits mean people across Birmingham are falling through the cracks. It has recently been reported that the total number of additional A&E-linked deaths since waiting times rocketed nationwide could be as many as 12,000. At the same time as the Conservatives are putting up taxes on working people, they are lowering standards for patients. We’re paying more but waiting longer and it is putting patient lives at risk.
“I’ve had many constituents reach out to me about their concerns with our NHS. One resident in particular told me how they were diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. They now have suspected ‘secondary’ colorectal cancer for which they should have been referred under a specific ‘cancer pathway’ within a two-week appointment window, instead they were made to wait 11 weeks.
“Government ministers don’t seem to be taking this crisis seriously and are missing in action. We have queues outside of A&E, rising backlogs and people unable to even get GP appointments. Our NHS is at a breaking point. We need a change in government to give us the fresh start.”
Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:
“Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are living in a fantasy world where the NHS isn’t worth mentioning. The truth is the health service is facing the biggest crisis in its history, with one in every eight people waiting for care. The Conservative leadership candidates have no plans to even begin to fix this.
“Among those 6.7 million on waiting lists, there could be a huge number of undiagnosed conditions like cancer. Record waiting times have a cost in lives.
“More patients than ever before are left waiting an entire day to be seen for emergency conditions. 24 hours in A&E was just a TV programme, now it’s the reality under the Conservatives.
“The next Labour government will get patients treated on time by providing the NHS with the staff, equipment and modern technology it needs.”
Notes to Editors