Tag Archives: waiting

Covid test waiting time soars as IT failure hits private ‘lighthouse’ testing lab

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Matt Hancock: this is the brain-dead nincompoop who thought it would be a good idea to let private companies try to make a profit from a deadly pandemic virus. Nothing works properly and we all remain in deadly danger six months after Covid-19 arrived in the UK.

Once again private profiteers have failed the people of the UK.

An “IT systems failure” at a ‘Lighthouse’ mega-laboratory in Cheshire “resulted in a delay to the processing of results,” the government said.

“In addition, the increase of tests across all routes has resulted in backlogs in some laboratories.”

The labs were built in April, in a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK Biocentre and the University of Glasgow, supported by pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca.

It means just seven per cent of people who took a test at a “satellite centre” got their results within 48 hours in the week to August 12 – down from 75 per cent two weeks earlier.

And only 28 per cent of people who were posted home testing kits got the result within 48 hours – down from 72 per cent.

This is what happens when you commit the health of the nation to the hands of people who want to make a profit from it: nothing works.

Source: New coronavirus chaos as test result waiting times soar due to IT malfunction – Mirror Online

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As routine NHS care grinds to a halt, pray you don’t need tests for cancer

Here’s how you work out how badly the government’s Covid-19 strategy has failed the NHS and the people of the UK.

The waiting list to be tested for conditions including cancer is now 16 times longer than it was before the crisis began.

Here are the figures, courtesy of the Mirror:

Patients waiting more than six weeks have increased from 30,000 to 469,000 as routine NHS care ground to a halt during the coronavirus crisis.

Those waiting for lifesaving Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to detect tumours throughout the body increased from 5,733 to 78,932.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: “Ministers tell us the NHS has ‘coped’ through the Covid-19 peak but that was on the back of cancelled operations, delayed scans and diagnostic tests.

“Estimates suggest two million people are waiting for cancer screening, tests or treatment and that 1,600 cases of cancer are currently left undiagnosed every month.”

He said it was vital that ministers must bring forward a plan to tackle the backlog but you know they won’t.

Remember: Matt Hancock is the Health Secretary and he is on record as responding to 66,000 Covid-19 deaths by saying, “Our plan is working”!

The message is as clear as it was in the 1980s when then-Labour leader Neil Kinnock gave this chilling warning about life under a Conservative government:

“Don’t get sick.”

Source: Coronavirus prompts NHS cancer test backlog as soaring number wait six weeks – Mirror Online

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Tory response to NHS waiting time failure: HIDE THE EVIDENCE

This was a corridor in an English hospital’s Accident & Emergency department in early 2017 – and now the situation is worse.

Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted not only that he can’t fix the NHS waiting time crisis – he won’t even bother to try.

Instead, it seems he’ll get rid of the four-hour target for patients to be seen. In other words, he’ll hide the evidence.

Of course he’ll say it’s only a coincidence that the proportion of patients attending A&E who were seen within the four-hour limit has been falling steadily since the Tories took over government in 2010.

Before then, under Labour, it was well within the target of 95 per cent.

And I’m sure he’ll say it’s also just a coincidence that attendances at A&E last month had increased by 400,000 since 2010.

It’s nothing to do with the return of so-called “Victorian diseases” brought by the Tory “starve the poor” policies of 2010 onwards – obviously. And it’s nothing to do with the increased health problems faced by benefit claimants who the Tories (wrongly) said could live on less.

And if you believe that, you’re stupid and gullible enough to deserve the pathetic service you’re getting.

You probably even believe Hancock when he says the NHS is getting its biggest cash injection ever, when in real terms the £33.9 billion promised is nowhere near the biggest, once inflation has been taken into account.

One person who isn’t going to be gulled is Professor Taj Hassan, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, who said last year: “In our expert opinion scrapping the four-hour target will have a near-catastrophic impact on patient safety.”

As a reader of Vox Political, I’m willing to bet that you are neither gullible nor stupid.

So, who do you believe?

Matt Hancock has signalled that four-hour waiting targets for A&E are likely to be scrapped for the NHS in England after the worst figures on record this winter.

The health secretary said it would be better if targets were “clinically appropriate” and the “right targets”, as he defended the NHS’s failure to meet the standard that 95% of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The target was put under review by Theresa May’s government and the NHS unveiled plans last March to pilot changes that would prioritise patients with serious conditions while patients with minor problems could wait longer than four hours.

A decision about the flagship four-hour target is due to be taken by NHS England in the coming months.

Source: Matt Hancock signals A&E waiting targets likely to be scrapped | Society | The Guardian

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Dire NHS performance shows Labour’s plan for huge health service expansion is desperately needed

Wow. The NHS in England is performing worse than ever after nine years of Tory mismanagement.

Figures provided by NHS England itself are the worst since targets were introduced more than a decade ago. None of the three key hospital targets have been met for more than three years, and the target to start cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral is also being missed.

Suddenly NHS Wales – much lambasted by Tory prime ministers – is looking far more efficient, isn’t it?

The figures show:

  • 83.6% of A&E patients were admitted or transferred in four hours – below the 95% target
  • 76.9% of cancer patients started treatment in 62 days in September – below the 85% target
  • 84.8% of patients on the waiting list for hospital treatment waiting under 18 weeks – below the 92% target

Labour announced a £26 billion plan to restore the health service to the high point it had reached in 2010, when the Tories took over and started wrecking it.

Here it is in a nutshell:

A great indication of what needs to be done – and who’s best placed to do it – is in this tweet from Labour candidate Joyce Still, who is herself a nurse:

Bizarrely, Conservative health secretary Matt Hancock has said the figures – that show a disastrous decline under his own stewardship of the health service and that of his forerunners including Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt – indicate that Labour is to blame and must be kept out of government.

Is that so his party can finish the job and ruin our health service forever?

That’s what I get from this train-crash interview by Boris Johnson:

He’s desperate to bring in a fully-privatised, profit-making corporate health system, modelled on the US system that bankrupts more people than it cures.

The message – from the figures and the campaign rhetoric – is clear:

If you want a healthy future, you want to vote Labour.

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Tories are failing the NHS with huge increases in waiting times for English patients

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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A&E hospital waiting times are worst since NHS records began. What were the Tories saying about it?

Not one week ago, the Conservatives were attacking a Labour political broadcast for featuring actors – implying it was full of lies.

It wasn’t – this article had the details.

Now we see that matters are worse than the Labour clip stated – because the latest figures hadn’t been released when it was made.

The new figures make it absolutely clear that Conservative stewardship of the National Health Service is an utter, unmitigated disaster.

Here‘s The Independent:

Waits at A&E departments in England have hit their worst levels since records began, official NHS statistics have shown.

Despite pressures from flu and bad weather so far this winter being significantly lower than in 2018, performance against the flagship four hour target in January hit its lowest level since its introduction in 2004.

While more patients than ever are being seen at A&E departments, just 84.4 per cent were seen, admitted or sent home within four hours of arrival – well below the target of 95 per cent.

This is worse than the 84.6 per cent mark set in in March 2018 after the Beast from the East storm – the previous lowest figures on record.

While more than half a million patients were admitted to hospital from A&E last month, more than 80,000 waited over four hours for a bed to be found, and 600 patients had to wait over 12 hours.

Waits were even worse at major emergency departments, the 24-hour units in hospitals known as type one A&Es. Although the national four hour target also considers smaller minor injury units and walk-in centres, at type one units across England just 76.1 per cent of patients were seen within four hours.

There are more figures in the article. Visit it and read them for yourself.

No doubt the Tories will respond by saying they are investing £20 billion in the NHS.

This doesn’t make a dent in the fact that their NHS spending increases have been lower than any previous UK administration.

And, of course, some of that money is supposed to be coming from a mythical “Brexit dividend” – cash coming back to the UK after we leave the European Union. All the evidence suggests Brexit will cost money.

The evidence is incontrovertible: The Conservatives are bad for your health.


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Theresa May lied to Parliament about Accident & Emergency waiting times

Theresa May has been rebuked by the UK’s statistics watchdog for using a misleading comparison between the health services of England and Wales.

Sir David Norgrove said the minority prime minister had used two different measures to compare the waiting times in Accident & Emergency services in England and Wales.

She was trying to make Wales look bad in comparison to England.

Here’s his letter to the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones:

It says: “Thank you for your letter of 25 January, where you raised concerns about the Prime Minister’s comparison of accident and emergency performance in England and Wales.

“You are right to say that the comparison is not valid. The figure used for England refers to the accident and emergency wait time from the decision to admit to admission into another part of the health service. The figure used for Wales represents the entire time patients wait from arriving to leaving accident and emergency services, including the time from decision to admit to actual admission.

“Waiting time comparisons between UK countries are difficult, for a variety of reasons, including differences in data collection and in health service structure, the use of walk-in centres for example.

“It is clearly important to be able to compare health and social care service performance across the UK, particularly to learn lessons from different ways of doing things. I welcome current efforts to improve accessibility of the data and their comparability but strongly urge the need for faster progress.”

Of course, we know why Mrs May lied, don’t we? Or at least we can guess.

She wants to soften us up to the idea that the part-privatised English NHS is more efficient than the wholly-nationalised Welsh version. That way, she hopes to convince the public that private healthcare is a better option.

If the only way she thinks she can win the argument is by lying, then she has already lost.

The NHS is at its most efficient as a wholly-nationalised organisation, with funds pumped into providing the best healthcare possible for the people of the UK, rather than being funnelled into the pockets of rich executives and their shareholders who see health as a profit-making exercise for themselves, not a service to the country.

It is to be hoped that Opposition MPs remember this, next time Mrs May thinks it’s clever to commit contempt of Parliament by deliberately lying to her fellow MPs – and the public – and puts her on the spot for it.


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This year’s NHS crisis has begun as patients experience sharp rising in A&E waiting times

The ambulance bay at Bristol Royal Infirmary [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

As Jeremy Corbyn put it, “This is completely unacceptable.

“Growing pressure on our NHS means more people waiting longer in ambulances and A&E departments having to divert more patients to other hospitals.”

Of course it is entirely in line with the claim that the Tories are trying to make the health service look incompetent in order to make a profit-making, privatised health system seem more attractive.

The minority Tory government may say it isn’t planning to sell off the NHS, but the recent announcement that the UK is holding private trade talks with the USA is a red flag to everybody who ever cared about the health service.

Of course, the real losers in this situation are the service users.

Growing numbers of patients taken to hospital by ambulance are having to wait an hour or more before they are handed over to A&E staff for treatment, NHS England figures show.

In the week to last Sunday, 17 December, one in seven such patients faced a delay of at least 30 minutes in the back of an ambulance or an area of the hospital where the crew look after them, up from one in eight the week before.

Hospitals are finding it impossible to stick to tough rules brought in for this winter by NHS England and NHS Improvement requiring that no patient should have to wait more than 15 minutes.

In a further sign of the extra pressure the NHS is under this winter, the number of times A&E units had to temporarily divert patients elsewhere because they could not cope with the demand for care rose from 25 the previous week to 30.

Source: NHS figures show sharp rise in patients waiting for A&E care | Society | The Guardian


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NHS waiting lists have grown enormously under the Tories

Patients are meant to wait no longer than 18 weeks after being referred for planned care in hospital, such as an operation [Image: sturti/Getty Images].

A Conservative-run NHS means you have to wait for care.

Why? Because then they can sell private health insurance to you as a way to jump the queue.

What a slimy gang of snake-oil salespeople.

The number of patients waiting for planned surgery in an NHS hospital in England has topped 4 million for the first time in a decade, official performance statistics show.

The breaching of the 4 million barrier for the first time since the waiting time target was introduced in August 2007 will raise fresh questions about the government’s stewardship of the health service. Critics will seize on it as evidence that Theresa May is giving the NHS too little money to help it cope with an unprecedented rise in demand for healthcare.

NHS England said on Thursday that 3.83 million people were on the waiting list for non-urgent hospital care in July, a slight increase on 3.81 million in June. However, it admitted that once estimates were factored in for how many patients were waiting at six hospital trusts that did not submit data for the referral to treatment (RTT) scheme, the total had gone over 4 million.

Source: Patients waiting for planned NHS hospital care top 4m for first time in a decade | Society | The Guardian


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Tory NHS record savaged as A&E waiting times miss target AGAIN

150123ToryNHS

This is a spoof, but the point is well-made.

The BBC wants you to feel happy – “Waiting times in A&E units in England have improved to their best level since November” – but it can’t hide the facts: “The target is still being missed.

“A total of 92.4% of patients were seen in four hours in the seven days up until Sunday. The target is 95% and has been missed on a weekly basis since the start of October.” This is the target that the Coalition reduced from 98 per cent under Labour – the NHS hasn’t managed anything close to that since the Coalition took over.

The Labour Party remains incandescent with rage that the Conservative-led Coalition has let people down so badly – possibly because the Tories used to whine if the 98 per cent target was missed (which did happen – but not continually for more than two years, as has happened with the Coalition’s – lowered – target).

How do you feel about the fact that the Coalition has not met its own target for A&E services since October-December 2012?

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham had this to say: “Hospitals all over England remain at their limits and are sailing dangerously close to the wind. The Tory A&E crisis shows no sign of easing and too many patients continue to suffer poor care.

“”David Cameron … has failed to produce a plan to turn things around and his complacency cannot continue. The Government is gambling with patient safety and allowing far too many patients to be exposed to far too much risk – proof you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

… But he’s a politician. If you’d like to know what real people think, we have the responses to last night’s (January 22) BBC Question Time discussion, from Twitter.

Here’s comedian and National Health Action Party ex-candidate Rufus Hound: “There are so many more people using hospitals, Esther [McVey, one of the panellists], coz your mob have underfunded all the support services, so hospitals bear the brunt.”

The Daily Mirror’s politics desk got in on the action: “Best question of the night from audience to [Esther McVey] ‘If what you’re doing is working so well, why is NHS in such crisis?'”

Here’s the answer, from ‘X-ray Vision’: “The NHS is being systematically starved of funding and deliberately mismanaged to gear it towards privatisation. Everyone knows this.”

Are you going to let that happen?

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