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City MP blasts government mismanagement of NHS as waiting list nears 45,000 patients

The latest figures from the NHS show that at the end of October 2021, there were 44,834 people on the waiting list at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. 1,533 people had been waiting for more than a year for an appointment.

In March 2020, at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, there were 4,235,970 people on the NHS waiting list in England, a then record high. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, over 1 in 10 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan criticised the government’s mismanagement of the health service.

Ministers have no plan to deal with the chronic shortage of GPs, doctors, nurses and social care staff, and has not set clear targets to reduce waiting lists and waiting times.

Hospitals around the country are reporting unsustainable pressure and an inability to provide high quality care.

In September, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Knighton told city councillors that demand was “outstripping capacity”. With bed occupancy at 99% he warned elective care would be “inevitably compromised”.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: 

“People in Portsmouth are being forced to wait months and even years for treatment, often in pain and discomfort. It is unacceptable and will have appalling consequences for patients.

“Our local health care staff have been heroes in our community throughout the pandemic. But they are stretched like never before after a decade of Conservative mismanagement

“The Government must give us the staff and support our City needs to get through this winter and to get patients seen on time.”

 Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“One in every ten people in England are on NHS waiting lists today and the situation is set to get even worse, despite the Tories’ unfair tax rises on working people. Under the Tories we’re paying more and getting less.

“The NHS went into the pandemic with waiting lists at record levels, staff shortages of 100,000 in the health service and 112,000 social care vacancies thanks to a decade of Conservative mismanagement.

“We need a plan to address the staffing shortages in health and social care service, to ensure the timely and quality care that patients deserve.”