Tuesday 13 July 2021 / 10:30 PM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

With more than one-in-10 people on waiting lists for treatment in some areas now is not the time to reorganise NHS

Labour: With more than one-in-10 people on waiting lists for treatment in some areas, now is not the time to reorganise NHS


Analysis from Labour has revealed more than one-in-10 people are on waiting lists for NHS treatment in twenty-two NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.


With more than 5.3 million people awaiting vital medical treatment across the country, statistics from the House of Commons Library for Labour show the picture is most serious in NHS Birmingham and Solihull, where the number is 146.7 per 1,000 population (1 in 7 people) and in Stockport, at 132.6 (1 in 8 people).  Other areas with long lists include Salford and Manchester, South East Staffordshire, East and North Hertfordshire and Southend. 


The research also shows 10 CCGs across England have more than 100,000 patients on their waiting lists, including NHS Black Country and West Birmingham, NHS Kent and Medway and NHS Devon. The waiting list figures are highest in NHS North East London, at more than 182,500, NHS North West London, at more than 178,800 and in NHS Birmingham and Solihull, at more than 173,100.


It comes as NHS waiting lists reached record highs for the second consecutive month, with experts warning the extra pressure – coupled with an expected surge in Covid hospitalisations – could result in soaring levels of staff exhaustion and burnout. 


Labour has urged the Government to focus on bringing down waiting lists instead of pursuing a top-down reorganisation of the NHS, after it was reported Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, had been ordered by Downing Street to press ahead with reforms.


Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth MP, said: 


“NHS staff have been through the most intense 18-months in the history of the health service and Covid admissions are rising steeply again.


“Waiting times for operations are increasing, young people are struggling to access adequate mental health support and cancer patients see vital treatment and surgery cancelled. 


“Sajid Javid has warned waiting lists could top 13-million but instead of bringing forward the investment needed to bring waiting lists down he is embarking on a top down reorganisation of the NHS that fails to integrate health and social care, represents a significant erosion of local accountability with a power grab for the Secretary of State and risks a new wave of lucrative crony contracts handed to the private sector.


“Labour will always put patients first and this legislation won’t provide the quality care patients deserve. Every day NHS staff are focused on this restructuring is a day less they are spending on bringing down waiting lists and providing coordinated care. This is the wrong bill at the wrong time and Labour will be voting against the legislation at second reading and will strongly resist anything that permits further privatisation of the NHS.”