Thursday 14 May 2020 / 11:49 AM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Growing and alarming backlog of clinical need with patients – Jonathan Ashworth

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on NHS statistics published today, said:

“Today’s figures suggest a growing and alarming backlog of clinical need with patients waiting longer for operations or diagnostic tests. GP referrals are down and patients are avoiding A&E and calling out ambulances.

“We support the lockdown to suppress this horrific virus but the far-reaching consequences for wider health outcomes must not be ignored.

“Resetting the NHS to continue treating Covid and non-Covid patients is a huge priority. We’re calling on ministers to urgently come forward with a resourced plan to ensure every patient receives the care they need.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • NHS stats published this morning show that:
    • A&E attendances at hospitals in England were down 57% in April compared with the same month a year ago – falling to the lowest figure on record. Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2020-21/
    • The number of attendances admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours is the lowest reported since the collection began and is likely to be a result of the COVID-19 response. Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2020-21/
    • GP referrals made for year-to-date (YTD) March 2020 decreased by 4.1% compared to March 2019. These referrals had shown a 2.1% increase at the same stage last year. Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/hospital-activity/monthly-hospital-activity/
    • GP referrals seen for YTD March 2020 decreased by 1.1% compared to March 2019. These referrals had shown a 2.1% increase at the same stage last year. Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/hospital-activity/monthly-hospital-activity/
    • 20.9 thousand calls to 999 answered, the fewest since these data items were first collected nationally in December 2017. Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ambulance-quality-indicators/ambulance-quality-indicators-data-2020-21/