Ruth Cadbury slams Government record on NHS waiting times: “patients left in agony”

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP, Steve Barclay MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Patients waiting “an astonishingly long time” in Brentford and Isleworth

Ruth Cadbury MP has slammed the Government after figures showed that more than seven million people were waiting for elective care on the NHS.

Speaking in the House of Commons at Health Questions on 11 July, Ms. Cadbury raised the case of one constituent waiting more than a year for an orthopaedic assessment during which time they were unable to work, and another waiting over three years for prostate surgery. Both needed emergency care due to their condition.

Questioning the Secretary for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay, Ms. Cadbury said:

“Both have had to seek emergency care while they wait for an agonisingly long time. Is it not true that the longer the Conservatives stay in power, the longer patients will wait?”

Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, replied:

“On the last bit of the question, the average waits in Wales are 20.4 weeks as of April, and in England they are 13.8 weeks, which is the exact opposite of the point the hon. Lady raises.

“We are taking action. We are boosting diagnostic capacity; 111 community diagnostic centres are now open. We are increasing treatment capacity through our surgical hubs programme.

“We are giving patients choice, which is not available in Wales under the Labour Administration—we are giving them more choice. We are also making better use of the independent sector, which some on the Labour Front Bench support but others do not.”

Speaking after the Ministerial questions, Ms. Cadbury said:

‘‘Too many people locally are having to wait far too long to get the treatment they need on our NHS. People’s lives are putting put on hold and they are being left in agony and limbo because of these delays. With the backlog now rising to over 7 million it’s clear that the Government have failed to give our NHS and its hard-pressed staff the support needed.

“This backlog is the sole fault of the Government who even before Covid-19 had failed to invest in enough staff, enough beds and enough treatment capacity. Locally we’ve seen the Government even U-turn on rebuilding Charing Cross and St Mary’s hospitals.

“The Government need to be recruiting more doctors, more nurses and more specialists, while ensuring those already trained are valued and supported as so many staff are leaving the NHS.

“I will continue to campaign for the Government to cut these huge waiting treatments and ensure people can get the treatment and care they need.’