Figures from the NHS reveal that 2, 852 people had to wait more than four hours for emergency care at Milton Keynes University NHS Trust’s A&E unit.
Just 80% of patients admitted to A&E in the area were seen within four hours – the NHS says that 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred, or discharged in that time.
Accident and emergency departments across the country are facing huge pressures. As the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries admitted, a decade of Conservative mismanagement left the health service “wanting and inadequate” when the pandemic struck.
There are now also 6.73 million people on the NHS waiting list in England as of June 2022. This is the highest ever recorded. At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, then a record high. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, one in every nine people in England are on the NHS waiting list.
The NHS went into the latest wave of COVID infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched.
As a result, the Labour and Liberal Democrat-run Progressive Alliance is calling on the Government to stop blaming issues on the pandemic and dramatically improve the system.
Councillor Emily Darlington, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities, said:
“We are entering into a winter crisis in the NHS. Too many people are waiting far too long for urgent care - all too often in serious pain. That’s not good enough.
“Waiting rooms are filling up with people needing dental treatment, unable to see their GP and many other health services that have suffered over a decade of underinvestment. Our NHS is stretched and exhausted.
“Rapid accident emergency care is essential - yet the Conservatives have scrapped the zero tolerance for 12 hour waits and the results are there for all to see. Under the Conservative Government, people are paying higher taxes but waiting longer.”
Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Public Health, added:
“Last month we found out that the number of people on NHS wait lists with Milton Keynes University Hospital has increased by 318% since 2012. The latest A&E figures further demonstrate how people are struggling to access even basic or essential healthcare.
“All of our NHS staff are working incredibly hard, but they can only do so much. Change must come from Central Government because people deserve better. Our NHS doctors, nurses and other NHS staff deserve better. This Government is out of touch and out of ideas, whilst leaving our health service in tatters.”