Recently published statistics by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has revealed that the number of NHS Consultant led operations in England has fallen by 84,000 in 2018 between the months of January and July.
The statistics also reveal that the decrease has been accompanied by a sharp increase in those waiting for planned surgery, and that the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for surgery has reached its highest in a decade.
One of the main reasons for the steep decline in consultant led surgery, and for the increasing numbers of those on waiting lists, is due to the strains of last year’s winter crisis.
January 2017 saw NHS England recommend the cancellation of all elective surgery in order to cope with the overwhelming demand. However, this has had the knock-on effect of creating a backlog as the NHS heads into what promises to be another busy winter.
Reacting to the news, a spokesperson for the National Health Action Party said: “the NHS is under immense pressure and the forthcoming winter will leave no room for respite. But we must move away from this narrative that the NHS is somehow only in crisis during winter. The NHS has been in crisis all year around due to the incompetence and deliberate underfunding it has been subjected to under both this and previous Conservative governments.
NHS statistics clearly show that between 2011 trolley waits – defined as someone being in need of urgent care and admitted to a hospital but waiting more than four hours to be seen by a consultant – rose from 98, 596 to 528,360 in 2017.
The NHS isn’t immune from politics. If we want to save the NHS and put the care of patients in the driving seat – as opposed to the interests of private business - then we must remove this Conservative government from power”
The National Health Action (NHA) Party was founded in 2012 to oppose the growing marketisation of the NHS.
The NHA Party stood against Jeremy Hunt in his SW Surrey constituency in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, taking 12,093 votes in the latter: a 7.8% swing to NHA.
Dr Phil Hammond is the NHA’s latest parliamentary candidate and will be standing against Jacob Rees-Mogg at the next general election.