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“We did it before and we will do it again” says City MP as Labour outlines first steps to clear NHS backlog in five years

Image by the Labour Party

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan has said Labour’s clear plan will end the Tories’ NHS waiting list backlog in five years.

New figures from Labour reveal NHS waiting lists will hit 10 million – rising from the current level of 7.5 million – if the Conservative Party is given another 5 years in office. That number of people would fill Wembley stadium 111 times over.

Other figures released today show that an estimated 148,000 people died in 2023 whilst waiting for care on the NHS, as patients face record waiting times.

Labour’s plan to clear the Tories’ NHS waiting list backlog in five years includes:

  • As a first step, 40,000 extra appointments, scans, and operations a week, during evenings and weekends
  • Double the number of scanners to diagnose patients earlier
  • Deliver the biggest expansion of NHS staff in history
  • Use spare capacity in the private sector, free of charge to patients
  • Reform the NHS to get more out of the service for what we put in

The extra appointments and scanners will cost £1.3 billion and will be paid for by clamping down on tax dodgers and closing non-dom tax loopholes.

Instead of setting out a plan, the Conservatives are fiddling the figures and hoping to dupe patients. Despite the latest NHS waiting lists lengthening by an extra 7,000 last month, Victoria Atkins and the Conservative Party have both falsely claimed that waiting lists are falling.

In 1997, patients routinely waited 18 months for NHS treatment. The last Labour government cut maximum waiting times from 18 months to 18 weeks and ended long waits for treatment. Today, 4,000 patients have been stuck on waiting lists for 18 months.

Waiting lists have trebled to 7.5 million since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 and were at record lengths before the Covid pandemic struck. The Conservatives have missed every target set in the NHS Elective Recovery Plan.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“The Tories have taken a wrecking ball to the NHS and as a result waiting times have grown longer and longer, with Portsmouth patients paying the price.

“I’ve made getting the NHS back on its feet and making it fit for the future one of my key priorities since becoming an MP and will again in this upcoming election.

“With a Labour government, we will end the Tories’ NHS waiting list backlog, so Portsmouth people can start getting appointments when they need them again.”

Wes Streeting, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Over 14 years, the Conservatives have taken the golden inheritance left by the last Labour government and wrecked it. Their neglect, incompetence, and underinvestment in the NHS has left millions of people waiting in pain and agony.

“Rishi Sunak has given up on the NHS. He has no plan to turn this crisis around, which he blames on doctors and nurses instead of taking any responsibility himself. Patients deserve solutions not scapegoats.

“If the Conservatives get another five years then nothing will change, the crisis in the NHS will get worse, and waiting lists will hit 10 million. The longer the Conservatives are in charge, the longer patients will wait.

“We will deliver an extra 40,000 appointments a week at evenings and weekends, the first step on our mission to beat the Tory backlog. We will pay for it by clamping down on tax dodgers, because patients need doctors, not dodgers.”