MP hopeful Tom Bartleet condemns Government for Suffolk NHS waiting list increase

19 May 2024
Thank you NHS


Tom Bartleet, Lib Dem Candidate for South Suffolk at the next General Election, has taken aim at the Government and called on more support for Suffolk’s health services as NHS waiting lists continue to grow.


The latest data published by NHS England shows that in February this year 123,347 patients were waiting to start treatment across both East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust and West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. This figure has increased from 111,287 in February 2023, with the number of patients waiting over 1 year for treatment also growing by over 500.


Tom said “We’ve seen NHS waiting lists grow year on year under different Conservative Governments. Enough is enough. Our NHS is creaking under pressure. Just days ago, the Chair of the Royal College of GPs warned General Practice cannot carry on much longer in its current state of crisis. Our hardworking NHS staff and the people of Suffolk deserve better.


Last January, Rishi Sunak pledged to reduce waiting lists but since then they have skyrocketed. The Conservative Party's decision to cut real-terms NHS funding by billions of pounds has meant local health services are overstretched, struggling to meet the needs of our community.


Too often patients have their non-urgent and non-cancer treatments cancelled due to a lack of hospital beds. Often this is caused by poor social care provision, which means many patients cannot leave hospital when they are ready because of a lack of care support in the community, which results in beds being blocked.


Our social care system is bursting at the seams, and this is having a devastating impact on patients across Suffolk, whether they are waiting to return home after receiving care, or waiting to access important treatment.


Health and social care is one of my key priorities. We need a sensible, once in a generation plan to fix health and social care locally and support those most in need. I am a firm believer in collaboration. If elected as your MP, I will bring together key local stakeholders, of all political parties, to develop a sustainable health plan for South Suffolk. I will also support the Liberal Democrat’s plan to overhaul our social care system and invest £5 billion to ensure patient’s needs are finally met, funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas firms, and reversing a tax cut for banks. Not only would this long overdue investment help patients with social care needs but it would also have an important impact on the wider healthcare system, finally supporting our NHS acute providers in freeing up much needed hospital beds”.



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