Huge rise in patients waiting for specialists
540k figure double 8 years ago
OVER a quarter of a million more patients are now waiting for longer than four and a half months for specialist NHS treatment.
That is almost double the 277,000 who had to wait beyond 18 weeks eight years ago.
New figures unearthed by Labour show that 263,000 extra patients are being left untreated as the Government misses more than 90 per cent of its targets.
They include nearly 12,000 more patients languishing on waiting lists before being seen by consultants for Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and epilepsy – a 205 per cent rise.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “These are shocking figures.
“Behind every statistic is an anxious patient waiting longer in pain and risking their health deteriorating further.”
The biggest 206 per cent rise has been in dermatology referrals, which include eczema treatment and wart and verruca removal. There has been a 188 per cent increase in over-18 week waits for rheumatology treatment, which means arthritis, spinal pain and osteoporosis sufferers left in agony.
Ear, nose and throat waits are up 164 per cent – that’s 27,670 more patients not getting their hearing loss, laryngitis and chronic tonsillitis treated.
Over-18 week waits in gynaecology cases have gone up from 14,400 to 31,700 and heart problems 9,300 to 20,500 - both rises of 120 per cent.
Labour Leicester MP Mr Ashworth said Health Secretary and Tory PM contender Matt Hancock should get a grip.
He added: “Rather than play leadership games he should focus on the day job.”
The total number of patients stuck on NHS waiting lists increased by 1.7 million to 4.1 million between February 2011 and the same month this year.
NHS England is now reviewing proposals to abandon both fourhour emergency and 18-week standards.
PM hopeful Hancock ought to focus on his day job JONATHAN ASHWORTH LABOUR MP
FRANKIE Shopland should not be alive. He may be a boisterous three-year-old now, but he could hardly have been born with more wrong with him.
His right lung and kidney were missing, and his heart was on the wrong side.
Putting that right involved placing the medical equivalent of scaffolding inside his tiny body to keep his remaining organs in place. Many operations followed.
As far as his parents know, there is no one else in the world like Frankie. His condition does not even have a name.
Frankie is quite simply a miracle of medical science. And he is also testament to the dedication, skill and determination of all the NHS staff who put their hearts and souls into saving him.
No one can put a price on that. Which is why our NHS must never be for sale.