Labour left the lowest NHS waiting times since records began.
But research released today by the Patients Association (and covered in the Guardian) shows waiting times for elective surgery have increased 6% year-on-year since the Tory-led Government came to power.
Patients awaiting a knee replacement could expect to wait 10 days longer in 2011 than in 2010 – an increase to 99 days from 89. For a hip, it’s an extra 6 days. A woman waiting for a hysterectomy could expect to wait three more days in 2011 than in 2010.
What’s more, the number of elective operations carried out fell by 4.6% over the same period – for example, there were 7.5% fewer cataract operations in 2011 than in 2010.
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that older people have been disproportionately affected.
Andy Burnham, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said:
David Cameron personally promised to protect the NHS but he is leaving patients waiting longer in pain and discomfort. [His] plan to let NHS hospitals devote more beds to private patients will only make matters worse with NHS patients pushed even further to the back of the queue.
You can read all about the Prime Minister’s broken promises on the NHS here – and sign Labour’s pledge to save the NHS.