MP blasts Conservatives as NHS waiting list breaks 158,000

3 Jan 2024
Richard Foord standing in front of an ambulance

Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord has said the “stark” figures show Conservative Ministers have let Devon “grind to a halt” due to growing NHS backlogs, as research from the House of Commons Library reveals 123 in every 1000 patients are still waiting for treatment.  

The research, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, shows the number of people on an incomplete patient pathway has risen to 158,411, a record high for Devon. This means that thousands are being left waiting treatment for months on end.

Richard Foord MP has criticised the Conservative government for failing to prioritise the NHS in the Autumn Statement late year, with no new measures to support healthcare services - despite the huge economic impact of people being unable to return to work because they are awaiting treatment.

Separate ONS figures show that a record high 2.6 million people are inactive across the country are out of work due to long-term sickness, up from two million in 2019.

The Liberal Democrats have set out a plan to help fix the crisis in NHS and care, including increasing training places for GPs; giving people a right to see their GP within seven days; increasing the Carer’s Minimum Wage to tackle soaring vacancies in social care; and giving people a guarantee to begin cancer treatment within 62 days of being diagnosed.

Tiverton & Honiton MP Richard Foord said:

“People in coastal and rural communities across Devon deserve an NHS that is fit for purpose. Instead, this Conservative government has run our local health services into the ground.

“It should not be too much to ask for those living in our neck of the woods to be able to get a GP appointment when they need one or get the treatment they deserve in a reasonable time.

“The Prime Minister’s abject failure to bring down the NHS backlog is having real consequences for our communities. Far too many people are being left to suffer unnecessarily due to Conservative incompetence.

“That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent investment in the NHS to bring down waiting lists as our frontline health service and staff are experiencing yet another challenging winter.

“It’s also why I am pushing to protect Seaton Community Hospital from having a whole wing sold off or demolished. It supports those living across the Axe Valley and a new Care Hub would be a much more effective use of the hospital - which the community helped fund."

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