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Waiting times targets have been missed every single month since the last election by most NHS Trusts

By 8 May 2024No Comments

Stephen Morgan MP has shared his concern following the news that Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust is one of two thirds of NHS trusts that have failed to hit their waiting list target – to treat patients within 18 weeks – in each month since the last General Election, new figures from the House of Commons Library have shown.

The NHS Constitution says that patients should wait no longer than 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment and Trusts are supposed to ensure that 92% of patients are seen in that time frame.

But 114 Trusts haven’t met this target since 2019, and 22 trusts haven’t treated patients within 18 weeks at any time since 2015.

Despite the huge dedication and commitment of NHS staff at the trust, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has unfortunately not met this target since May 2016.

Most Trusts have also failed to meet their A&E target, which is that 95% of patients at A&E should wait less than 4 hours. Only 10 Trusts have hit this target in any one month in the last five years, excluding the national Covid lockdown in 2020 when emergency rooms were relatively empty.

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has not met their A&E target in 10 years, with May 2014 being the last time that the A&E saw 95% of patients within less than 4 hours. This places the Trust on par with some of the worst performing hospital trusts in the country.

Trusts have fared a little better at meeting the NHS diagnostic target, which says that 99% of patients who are waiting for a diagnostic test or scan should be seen within six weeks. Portsmouth is among the third of trusts still haven’t met this target since the last General election.

Some Trusts have failed to meet any of the three targets in almost a decade. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has missed all the targets every month since 2015, while Hull University teaching Hospitals Trust and Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust have missed them all since 2016.

These findings blow a hole in the Conservatives’ claim that just a few poor performing trusts are dragging down the rest of the health service.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“It is extremely worrying that despite the hard work of local NHS staff, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has failed to meet its targets for nearly a decade.

“It is clear the Government cannot be trusted to fix a problem of their own making. They have pushed our NHS to breaking point. Patients in Portsmouth deserve better and cannot wait around for the Government to move aside to give Labour the chance to bring the NHS back from its knees.

“That’s why I was pleased to support plans to build the new emergency department at QA Hospital and secure the funding needed to ensure Portsmouth patients are seen on time.

“I will continue to work with the Trust to ensure this investment, when the new facility opens later this year, delivers the service local people need”.

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary,

“On Rishi Sunak’s watch, record numbers of patients are left waiting for hours on end in A&E when delays can cost lives. Under the Conservatives, people can no longer trust the NHS to be there for them when they need it. 

“When Labour was last in government, patients were treated in good time, and the maximum waiting time was cut from 18 months to 18 weeks. Labour will get patients treated on time with 2 million more weekend and evening appointments, paid for by clamping down on tax avoidance and closing loopholes for non-doms.

“It’s time to stop the chaos, turn the page and start to rebuild. The country needs change, and only Labour can get the NHS back on its feet.”

Labour’s plan to get back to safe waiting times within the first term of government, meeting the 4-hour A&E waiting time target, treatment within 18 weeks, and tests and scans within 6 weeks, includes:

  • Delivering two million more operations and appointments at evening and weekends each year
  • Doubling the number of NHS scanners, buying new AI-enabled scanners to diagnose faster and more accurately
  • Reforming the NHS so it provides more care in the community and stops people needing to go to hospital
  • Delivering the NHS workforce plan, training thousands more doctors and nurses a year