Theresa May has apologised for the ongoing crisis in the NHS after the cancellation of tens of thousands of non-urgent operations to ease the pressure on hospitals.
The PM said: “I know it’s difficult, I know it’s frustrating, I know it’s disappointing for people, and I apologise.” So that’s all right then, is it?
The crisis is due to her government’s cuts in funding of social care, which has added to the pressure on a service that used to be the envy of the world.
Rising numbers of patients need hospital care, whether in an A&E department, for cancer treatment, or for planned operations and care.
The latest ministerial excuse is that it is winter, when demand is at its peak. I have news for them – we have winter every year so you would assume there would be some forward planning.
Look at the government’s 85 per cent target for cancer treatment within 62 days of GP referral. Our region has hit 80.4 per cent against the national average of 82.3 per cent. Close enough you might say, but you would be wrong.
Each fraction of one percentage point represents hundreds, maybe thousands, of families left dangling over life or death treatments.
Analysis based on the government’s own statistics shows that more than one in eight patients rushed to hospital in an ambulance this winter has faced a delay of more than 30 minutes on arrival, with the worst waits up to five hours.
The government has failed to deliver the funding that the NHS needs. Real terms NHS revenue growth for 2018/19 will be just 1.9 per cent, which is even lower than the past two years. Age-weighted NHS revenue growth per person is 0.9 per cent in 2018/19, and falls by 0.4 per cent in 2019/20. The government has failed to deliver on its pledge to increase head for head spending in the NHS for every year of this Parliament.
So much for the Tory boast, repeated from Maggie onwards, that the NHS is safe in their hands.