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Labor calls for NHS bailout to cut waiting lists | UK News

An NHS bailout is needed to help thousands of people awaiting treatment in hospital, according to the Labor Party.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has vowed to use upcoming NHS legislation and vote in parliament to demand government action for people on hospital waiting lists.

NHS England data shows that in February 2021, some 387,885 people were waiting more than 52 weeks to start hospital treatment.

This is the highest number of all calendar months since December 2007.

A year ago, in February 2020, the number of people who had to wait more than 52 weeks to start treatment was only 1,613.

The massive increase has been blamed on the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen many procedures postponed, increasing wait times in hospitals.

Labor wants a pay rise for NHS staff, a quarterly strategy to tackle waiting lists and for the health service to receive the workers and equipment needed to provide cancer care, surgeries and mental health care.

Mr Ashworth said: “Leaving patients in limbo awaiting surgery risks their condition worsening, leading to permanent disability, loss of livelihood and, tragically for some, death.

“Labor will use our voice and vote in parliament to demand action to reduce waiting lists and provide the best mental health and cancer care.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Affairs said: ‘Our NHS has faced enormous challenges over the past year due to COVID-19 and we continue to support our incredible healthcare workforce and care that has kept services open for thousands of patients.

“This government will support the NHS at every turn, providing £ 63bn in health services over the past year and a further £ 29bn next year.

“This includes £ 1 billion to support the recovery of the NHS by pushing providers to resolve backlogs and tackle the long waiting lists that have built up due to the pandemic.

“Over a million NHS staff have benefited from a …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-26 23:35:00