Unions say Tories are not fit to run the NHS

Unions have said the Tories are not fit to run the NHS after data showed hospital performance in England is at its worst level on record.

Figures from NHS England show key targets for cancer, hospital care and A&E have been missed for over three years – with delays for hospital care and in A&E hitting their highest levels since both targets were introduced. Some 42 million patients on the waiting list at the end of September, the highest number ever.

While Labour and the Liberal Democrats blamed a lack of Tory spending for the figures, Boris Johnson blamed the patients themselves.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Patients left in agony on trolleys for hours and poorly visitors waiting for hours in A&E, forced to sit on floors because of a lack of chairs, has become the new normal. Years of underfunding and an endless staffing crisis show the Conservatives are simply not fit to run our NHS.

“These are the worst ever A&E figures yet the winter has barely begun. It’s a shocking state of affairs and should be of huge concern to every one of us. The pressure on hospitals is going through the roof because of the failure to tackle the social care mess. The next government must put the health of the nation and the NHS as its top priorities.”

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “The dire figures for the NHS in England on hospital waiting lists and the worst delays in A&E since 2004 are searing indictments of the Tories’ austerity programme since 2010.

“It is clear that in cash terms the NHS is in ‘intensive care’ and Boris Johnson’s claims to boost funding is an election mirage and can’t hide the Tories’ failure to sufficiently invest in the NHS.

“Labour, which founded the NHS in 1948, has a coherent plan to increase spending on the NHS and nurse it back to financial health.

“Dedicated NHS staff are being stretched to the limit because of the Tories’ failed stewardship of the NHS which remains the jewel in the crown of the UK’s welfare system.”

GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “The devastation of our health service is an avoidable tragedy and the direct result of ten years of Conservative cuts. Under the Tories our health service is in crisis and close to breaking point – yet NHS workers are being gagged and told not to tell the world how bad things have got.

“Vague promises and lies about new hospitals are not going to help. Our NHS needs a proper rescue plan, an urgent injection of money and a proper pay rise for workers. We will only get that under a Labour government.”

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