The Conservatives Achilles’ Heel in the Election: The NHS Waiting List Crisis

Statistical data on NHS care delays in different regions of England show the criticality of the treatment system. The UK is facing a national tragedy as the number of individuals perishing while awaiting treatment continues to rise. The NHS has attributed these delays to the strike initiated by nurses, doctors, and other staff demanding better pay, which commenced last December. This revelation has garnered over a million visits. The article deals with the statistical data on NHS care delays across various regions in England, highlighting the dire and fractured condition of the healthcare system. Ultimately, it prompts the British populace to contemplate their conclusions about the conservatives concerning healthcare.

The dire state of the UK healthcare system

Patients stand as the overlooked casualties of the treatment waiting list crisis. Currently, there needs to be more favourable feedback regarding the healthcare system. Reports depict the national healthcare system in an entirely negative light, highlighting years of operation with insufficient human resources and equipment, unfulfilled promises from the conservatives to address these issues, and a significant strike by employees.

The impact of strikes on the problems of the parasite treatment system

The medical staff strike is not a new issue. Thousands of medical staff have gone on strike for the umpteenth time since last year and demanded to improve their salaries and working conditions. Recently, consultants and young doctors, who make up 80% of the hospital’s doctors, started a 72-hour strike on October 2. Meanwhile, the publicly funded NHS has warned that the strikes will cripple non-emergency services.

Low salaries are the cause of medical staff strikes

Doctors say their pay rises have not kept pace with high inflation amid the UK’s cost-of-living crisis. The healthcare system needs more labour due to years of budget cuts. As a result, medical professionals are forced to work longer hours without support and have no time to rest. According to a British Medical Association (BMA) survey, almost half of junior doctors struggled to pay their rent and energy bills during the UK’s cost of living crisis.

Patients wait two and a half years.

Patients endure staggering wait times of up to two and a half years for an MRI scan! Guardian statistics reveal alarming delays in England for crucial diagnostic tests like ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans. The longest waiting periods reported were:

  • Two and a half years for an MRI scan.
  • Nearly two years for an ultrasound scan.
  • A year for a CT scan.

Individuals grappling with heart issues face dire circumstances. NHS data discloses a waiting period of 49 weeks for an echocardiogram and a daunting 475 days for an angiogram.

The death of 340 thousand people waiting for the start of the treatment process

The failures within the healthcare system have resulted in the loss of numerous patients. According to statistics, over half of the individuals who passed away in England last year were on NHS waiting lists—the Times reported an estimated 340,000 deaths among those on NHS waiting lists, comprising more than 60% of the total UK deaths. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting commented, expressing concern over record numbers of individuals enduring their final months in pain, awaiting treatment that never materializes. He highlighted a broken promise of the NHS—its inability to deliver care when needed. Streeting also emphasized that the longer the Conservatives remain in power, the longer patients endure extended waits. The alarming statistical data regarding NHS care delays across different regions of England paints a catastrophic picture, indicating that this crisis won’t be resolved shortly.

The national tragedy of the death of patients

The death of patients during the start of the treatment process is becoming a national tragedy, and no effective measures have been taken to solve it. Louise Ansari, chief executive of Healthwatch England, said: “We know that delays to care have significant impacts on people’s lives, putting many in danger.”

The upward trend in the death of patients due to not starting the treatment process

Despite Rishi Sunak’s assurance of expedited treatment for needy individuals, he acknowledged that recurring doctor strikes had hindered progress, and the Times sought information from 83 out of 223 NHS trusts regarding the count of deaths on waiting lists, revealing a figure of 125,000. The tally of deaths on these lists surged by 15% in 2020, coinciding with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This trend persisted, with continuous increases observed in 2021 and the previous year.

Half a million increase in the waiting list for diagnostic tests

Under NHS law, patients must wait less than six weeks for diagnostic tests. The aim is for just one per cent to wait more than six weeks, but according to research by the Library of the House of Commons, 25 per cent of all patients are now on the waiting list. The figures show that the waiting list for diagnostic tests in England has increased by more than half a million people to 1.6 million, a 50% increase since 2019. The biggest increase was in the number of patients waiting for MRI scans, where the waiting list increased by a third.

The national scandal of the conservative government

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “What this Conservative government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. Millions are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment. We cannot fix our economy without fixing our NHS. People can’t get back to work when they’re stuck waiting to see a GP, get a diagnosis or start treatment. The longer they wait, the worse their health and stress for themselves and their loved ones.”

Children are the main victims of the NHS waiting list crisis.

The number of people under 18 on the waiting list for childcare has increased to 423,500. Of these, 23,396 had to wait more than a year for a visit. Delays in treatment for children and adolescents are now so common that Dr Jeanette Dickson, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, warned that children are “the forgotten casualties of the NHS’s waiting list crisis.” Fewer than three-fifths (57%) of children are currently seen at 18 weeks when NHS treatment targets say this should be 92%. The number of people on the waiting list has increased by 52% since 2021.

Conservatives’ failed promises about the healthcare system

Statistical data on NHS care delays in different regions of England shows major weaknesses in the healthcare system. Many outgoing Boris Johnson promises have yet to be fulfilled and will be fulfilled in the next election. Including building 40 new hospitals by 2030, which the National Audit Office recently said the government would not deliver by that year. Also promising to help people live healthier lives and tackle obesity, successive prime ministers have weakened or delayed anti-obesity measures.

The ongoing and uncontrollable crisis of waiting in lines for treatment

The ongoing series of strikes, with no resolution in sight, has plunged the NHS into a precarious halt, leaving patients as the casualties. The unfulfilled commitments have significantly eroded the conservatives’ standing. The most detrimental element undermining the conservative party is the escalating hospital waiting lists. The NHS is poised to become the Achilles’ heel for the Conservatives in the upcoming election. Failing to fulfil health promises outlined in the 2019 manifesto and deteriorating access to care reinstates the NHS as the foremost threat to the Conservatives’ future in the next election.

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