Steve calls on new Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to act on growing waiting lists

Steve is calling on the new Secretary of State for Heath, Jeremy Hunt, to act quickly and decisively to reduce ballooning waiting times for NHS patients to access lifesaving diagnostic tests


Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) put the number of NHS patients currently waiting for diagnostic tests in July 2012 at 659,796[1]. 583,794 people were waiting for tests in the same period last year; an increase of 13%[2].

Waiting times across England and Wales have increased by 25% since the Coalition took office in May 2010[3], whilst the number of ‘13 week waiters’, patients waiting 13 weeks for tests, has tripled[4].

Commenting on the figures, Steve said:

I am astounded that waiting times for diagnostic tests have increased yet again; despite a promise from David Cameron that NHS waiting times would not increase in a speech to medical professionals in June 2011[5]

“I’m therefore calling on the new Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to act to reduce waiting times for NHS patients. In South Birmingham alone, there are over 4,000 people currently waiting for diagnostic tests. This is unacceptable.

“I’ve long said that the Government’s top-down reorganisation of the NHS, a process lacking the support of doctors, nurses and medical personnel across the country, would lead to a diversion of resources away from tackling problems such as waiting times.

“David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt need to act now, and act decisively”.

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