Category Archives: Waiting lists

‘Judge us by our record’, says Tory MP. We did – and the verdict is not good!

Laura Trott: does she spend a lot of time with her foot in her mouth?

Conservative Pensions Minister Laura Trott made a bit of a blunder on the morning media round: she asked the public to judge the Conservative Party on its “track record” since 2010.

Here she is, saying it:

Peter Stefanovic took her at her word, and did just that. Here’s the result:

Social mobility is at its worst in more than 50 years.

Untreated sewage dumped in our rivers.

Crumbling schools and hospitals.

Thousands dying every year on NHS waiting lists.

Let’s add a little more to the list, from an article published earlier today (September 18, 2023):

14 million people in the UK are in poverty – that is a little more than one-fifth of the population.

A million adults can’t afford to eat every day.

Nine million, while eating every day, are skipping meals and cutting back on food. There is a consequent effect on the nation’s health that will impact the NHS, of course – with thousands of people being hospitalised with malnutrition. Then the Tories say they don’t understand why the health service can’t cope after they have put so much (ha ha!) extra funding into it.

A record 2.1 million people are now using food banks. Remember David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ policy? This is its only success – forcing more wealthy people to subsidise those who cannot afford to feed themselves, including lower-paid working people and nurses, let’s not forget, with charity.

The number of children in food poverty has doubled in the last year alone.

Seven million households aren’t being heated properly.

Rishi Sunak has also mentioned inequality, claiming – again, falsely – that this is also lower. In fact:

In 2022, incomes for the poorest 14 million people fell by 7.5 per cent while those for the richest fifth saw a 7.8 per cent increase.

Could that be partly because Sunak has uncapped bankers’ bonuses while imposing real-terms pay cuts on public sector workers?

Sunak reckons 200,000 fewer pensioners are in poverty today – but the number of pensioners in relative poverty has actually increased by more than 200,000. In 2021/22, more than two million pensioners were living in poverty in the UK.

Sunak’s comment about 100,000 new homes needs no response because the House of Lords rightly rejected the arguments in favour of building on land likely to be flooded with water that had been polluted, not only by developers but also by greedy privatised water firms.

Sunak reckons he’s delivered 4,000 prison officers – so why are there fewer now than in 2010? Does it have something to do with the privatisation – and profitisation – of our prisons?

Put it all together and you’d have to be demented to deny the comments in the following ‘X’ post:


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120000 patients have died waiting for NHS treatment on Rishi Sunak’s watch

Where being a patient gets you: 120000 people have died before getting this far with the NHS that the Tories have starved of resources.

Freedom of Information responses have indicated that 121000 people have died while waiting for treatment by the National Health Service in England – despite UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s promise to get waiting lists down.

The number of deaths is higher even than at the height of the Covid-19 crisis – and double the number of deaths before the pandemic.

According to The Mirror, the Labour Party sent Freedom of Information requests to every trust in England. Although only 35 out of 138 trusts responded, it was possible to extrapolate an overall number of deaths from the figure they provided – 30611. It came in at 120695.

That is more than the 117000 who died during the Covid pandemic in 2021, more than twice the 60000 deaths in 2017-18, and more than three times the 38000 or so recorded in 2012-13.

This is at a time when England has the longest waiting lists in the history of the National Health Service, with 7.6 million people registered as waiting for treatment.

It is important to remember that when Rishi Sunak became prime minister, he promised to cut waiting lists – but there are 600000 more people waiting for treatment now than there were then.

We should also give weight to the words of a health service spokesperson, who suggested that the figure is misleading because the sample size is too small. But no accurate, verified figures have been forthcoming from that source

This in turn suggests that the true figure may in fact be much higher.

The Mirror article quotes Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive at NHS Providers, which represents hospital bosses, who blamed “historic underfunding … a pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, workforce shortages and now industrial action” for piling pressure on the health service.

The historic increases in waiting lists – and deaths while on those lists – have come after successive Conservative governments deprived the NHS of vital funding, gave much of what little there was to private providers who frittered it away in share dividends, and ran underpaid medical staff into the ground.

So we can understand the responses of the pundits on ITV on August 30, when Owen Jones said the evidence suggests a conscious decision by the Tories to prioritise profits for rich businesspeople over the health of the nation…

… and with Labour, under leader Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, saying it will not end privatisation, it seems the agony will continue indefinitely.

Labour’s plan to cut waiting lists is to divert even more money to the private sector, to use their spare capacity. But this is just throwing good money after bad, for the reason described by Saul Staniforth, below:

Private health businesses work by taking medical staff away from the NHS, to work for the profit of corporate shareholders.

If any government – Tory, Labour or whatever – puts money into private firms to carry out treatment, then much of that cash won’t actually go towards making people healthier at all; it will simply boost already bloated shareholder bank accounts.

What’s the solution?

It isn’t hard to see.

For a start, privatisation of healthcare should be reversed, so money that currently enriches those shareholders can be put back where it belongs – making people healthier.

The defunding of the NHS must also be reversed, so that medical staff can be paid what they are worth, and are given a renewed sense of the value of their work. This Writer saw a meme today (September 1) pointing out that doctors and nurses are not 25 per cent less valuable than they were 15 years ago, so they should not have lost that much pay, in real terms.

Above all, UK politicians must accept that privatisation is a failed experiment that has killed thousands of people unnecessarily.

If that lesson doesn’t get through, and needs to be hammered home, then bereaved families now or in the future will always have recourse to one option:

They can put the evidence together, showing how political decisions led to the deaths of their relatives – and they can prosecute the politicians who pushed them through.


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Squirm, Barclay! Health sec skewered over delay in clearing legionella-hit prison barge

The denial machine: puppet Steve Barclay (front) doesn’t have a brain of his own and can only repeat the nonsense he’s been told by Tory HQ, with his boss Rishi Sunak behind him, pulling his strings.

The absolute state of this.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay squirms as the BBC’s Sally Nugent points out that the Home Office was informed on August 7 that the prison barge for asylum-seekers, Bibby Stockholm, was infected with legionella.

People were sent on board the following day. It wasn’t until August 10 that the decision was made to clear the vessel of human inhabitants and decontaminate it.

Don’t you love the nervous tic that gives Barclay away – his repetition of the word “precaution” or “precautionary”. It’s likely to have been part of a speech he’d been told to rehearse beforehand, and when he was pressed on the subject he had nothing else to say.

As Ms Nugent said, he’s the Health Secretary; he should know how dangerous legionella is and how important it is to act urgently if it is discovered.

Ms Nugent has also won praise after she “eviscerated” the Tory Health Secretary for lying about waiting lists:

Metro published the full exchange:

The politician replied: ‘What really matters is patients waiting for treatment. Commitment to getting waiting times down. We’re making big progress on the longest waits. In England we’ve virtually eliminated waits of over 18 months, whereas in Wales for example, there’s over 70,000 waiting more than 18 months.

‘In fact, many of your listeners will be surprised to learn that there’s four times as many patients waiting over a year for treatment in Wales compared to in England, and that’s despite Keir Starmer saying that Wales is the blueprint for what we would do in England.’

However, as the politician was finishing what he was saying, Sally interjected, stressing that the figures comparing waiting times in England and Wales required further context.

‘Can I just stop you there, because actually those… – can I please just stop you there for a moment, because the figures are actually collated in a different way, so that’s not particularly relevant. We also know that long waiting times are falling every month in Wales. They’ve actually more than halved in the last year,’ she stated.

However, the MP disagreed, adding: ‘No, people waiting more than 18 months in Wales is over 70,000 there. There’s over 30,000 waiting more than two years.’

Yet again, Sally pointed out the difference in the statistics’ relevance, telling the programme’s guest and their viewers: ‘They include more referrals in their statistics than England does, so they’re not really comparable figures, are they?’

The news provider also published reactions from the social media, with one person describing the interview as a “metaphorical evisceration” and another saying Ms Nugent “skewered him”.

But you wouldn’t know that from the propaganda clip put out by the Conservatives’ press office, that just regurgitates the lies and cuts out all of Ms Nugent’s contradictions – her only comment in the Tory clip is, “Yes”. Take a look if you can stomach it:

What a rotten liar.

And how sad that there are people who will swallow this pigswill gratefully.


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