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This was a corridor in an English hospital’s Accident & Emergency department in early 2017. What will it look like next January?

No wonder Boris Johnson has announced a huge modernisation programme for the NHS in England, if these damning figures are any indicator of his party’s performance in government.

(Nobody knows whether the investment he has promised will actually happen, though.)

Statistics published today by the National Health Service show that

  • 85.4 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in A&E this September, compared with 89.1 per cent in September 2018
  • 64,921 patients were left stranded on hospital trolleys for four hours or longer in September 2019 compared with 44,582 last year.
  • Five out of eight of the cancer waiting time targets were missed in August, including the 62 day waiting time target which has not been met since December 2015.
  • The number of patients on the waiting list in England at the end of August 2019 was 4.4 million. Taking account of trusts not submitting data, the waiting list increased by 4.8 per cent over August 2018.

The fact that five out of eight cancer waiting times were missed is particularly damning after Theresa May spent so much of her Prime Minister’s Questions time slating the Welsh NHS for failing to reach targets in respect of that disease.

“Today’s figures blow apart bogus claims from the Tories that they are the party of the NHS,” said Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth.

“Under the Tories, more and more patients are waiting for treatment and languishing on trolleys in overwhelmed A&E departments. Behind every statistic is a patient in pain and distress.

“The facts speak for themselves and no amount of spin can hide the reality that the Tories simply don’t care about the NHS.”

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