2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of our National Health Service by the Labour Government of Clement Attlee.
The Ilford Recorder has regularly reported on the pressures facing our local King George and Queens Hospitals. But we are not unique. Since 2010, the number of people waiting longer than 4 hours in A&E in England has soared. It has got harder to see a GP. Waiting lists are growing. Hospitals are in financial crisis. NHS Trusts ended last year hundreds of millions of pounds in deficit. NHS spending per capita is due to fall next year. Hard pressed Local Councils have cut adult social care budgets.
Over 75,000 patients have been left languishing in the back of ambulances this winter. Theresa May’s boast that the NHS is the best prepared it’s ever been has now been entirely discredited. The truth is we are now approaching the 8th year of desperate underfunding and cuts to our health and social care services by the Tories. We've seen thousands of beds cut from the NHS and the numbers of days lost to delayed discharge are up by 50 per cent.
Despite the heroic efforts of our fantastic NHS staff, our health service is more vulnerable than ever before. As the NHS enters its 70th year, the truth is that Tory neglect has left it underfunded, understaffed and overstretched. Ministers must get an urgent grip of this escalating crisis and give our NHS the resources it needs.