Labour's general election candidate, Cat Smith has expressed shock at figures released by NHS England showing rising numbers of patients waiting longer than four hours at Accident and Emergency, and an increase in patients left waiting on trolleys for more than four hours.
The figures released for July to September 2014 show a marked increase from the same time last year. Figures for the last three months for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, show that 1,737 people have waited longer than four hours in a major A&E, a rise of 54% or 934 more patients than this time last year. Figures also show that 237 patients at the Trust waited longer than four hours on a trolley in A&E before they were admitted into hospital, 57% or 136 more patients than this time last year.
Cat Smith, who is active in the local No Sell Off Morecambe Bay group campaigning against pharmacy privatisation in local hospitals said,
"David Cameron promised he'd protect the NHS, but backed up by votes from our local Tory MP he wasted billions on an unnecessary re-organisation, inflicted deep cuts on social care and made it harder to see a GP. Latest figures for A&E show that the Tories are taking the NHS backwards.
I am challenging our Tory MP for Lancaster to back Labour’s plans to -
- Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and the same day for those who need it.
- Guarantee a maximum one-week wait for cancer tests.
- Create a £2.5 billion a year NHS Time to Care Fund to support 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more home care workers and 3,000 more midwives – funded by a mansion tax on homes worth £2 million or more, by ensuring that tax avoiders play by the rules and by a levy on tobacco companies.
- Repeal David Cameron's NHS changes that put private profit before patients, so that NHS professionals can focus on your care, not competition law.
I am appalled that this government, supported by our local Tory MP, have consistently put private profit before patient care here in Lancaster."