Gordon has condemned the Tory-led Government’s failure to anticipate the A&E crisis which many NHS trusts are facing, including Blackpool’s which has seen a 300% increase in those admitted having to wait between four and 12 hours until they were seen.
In the last week of 2014, 48 patients who were admitted, had to spend between four and twelve hours waiting. This compares to 2013 in which 16 people had to wait the same amount of time.
The Blackpool South MP met with management at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust before Christmas, and he said staff were struggling because of the Government’s decision to starve the health service of funding, but also making cuts to social care and making it harder for people to see a GP.
Gordon said: “These figures show the real strain that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, including the Vic and others across the UK are being put under by this Government. David Cameron said the NHS was “safe in Tory’ hands” but this couldn’t be more further from the truth.
“Local hospitals are being hit with the double whammy of having their funding slashed, when twice as many people are coming through the doors at A&E. A few of the reasons behind this is the cuts to councils that are being imposed on them by Government and this is affecting the local provision of social care provision, but also because they are not using or have access to see a local GP.
“When I had my meeting with management at the trust, they told me about the growing pressures they were facing in A&E and the struggles to take on new staff in order to meet these increasing demands.
“That’s Labour would once again put patients at the heart of the health service and with our £2.5 billion “Time to Care” package we would guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours. This would also allow NHS trusts to recruit more doctors and nurses.
In the last week of 2014, 3,532 people came through the doors of A&E, an increase of 1,687 on the year before. With more people struggling to see their GP, he called on the Tory-led Government to back Labour’s plans for the NHS, which includes a guarantee of seeing a GP appointment within 48 hours.
“These measures would not just solve the current A&E crisis but be proactive in making sure the current situation was never allowed to happen again.
“What makes this Government’s neglect of our health service so dangerous is that this is even without the risks of winter illnesses such as flu and viruses. The Government needs to be aware of these increasing pressures.”
He explained that the Tories had destabilised a successful running NHS with their disastrous top down reorganisation, and that they were now holding the health service back from the challenges of the 21st Century.
Gordon also recently backed a Private Members Bill by Labour’s Clive Efford in the Commons to stop the Tory-led Government from putting privatisation before patient care in the NHS.