Friday 20 July 2018 / 12:01 AM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Hancock’s first speech let down patients

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, responding to Matt Hancock MP’s first speech as Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

“The 4.3 million patients on waiting lists and the nearly 27,000 patients who waited over 62 days for cancer treatment last year will feel sorely let down that reducing waiting lists and stamping out rationing isn’t the first priority of the new Health Secretary.

“Investment in technology is welcome but years of Tory austerity has seen hospitals build up a £5 billion repair backlog, resulting in clinicians nationwide using hundreds of pieces of equipment that are years out of date, as recently revealed by Labour.

“And commitments to prevention will ring hollow without reversing the substantial cuts to public health budgets, which are set to reach £800 million by 2020/21.”