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'Dismal': Lib Dem candidate attacks Conservatives over NHS

By Lisa O'Brien | Mid Wales | General Election 2019 | Published:

New NHS data showing that A&E performance is at its worst-ever level reveals the Conservatives’ dismal record on the NHS, a parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire has claimed.

Experts have said the NHS is heading for one of its “bleakest” ever winters, and 100,000 people could end up stuck on trolleys waiting for hospital beds.

One in six patients waited longer than four hours in A&E in England during October – the worst-ever performance since the government's four-hour target was introduced in 2004.

In Shropshire, NHS England figures show about one in three patients waited longer than four hours last month.

The government says 95 per cent of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

Hospital bosses in Shropshire say there has been increasing demand on the emergency departments at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital month after month.

Kishan Devani, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Montgomeryshire, says that despite healthcare being a devolved issue in Wales, the majority of Montgomeryshire residents receive urgent treatment on the English side of the border, meaning Montgomeryshire residents are still suffering.

He said: “It is shameful that patients in Shropshire and Mid Wales are being abandoned, be it waiting for hours for treatment in A&E or for months in pain for routine operations.

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“These figures reveal the Conservatives’ dismal record on the NHS.

'Extreme'

"For the past four years the Tories have utterly failed to invest properly in our health service, leaving local hospitals underfunded, overstretched and understaffed.

“Their extreme Brexit would make a dismal situation worse by driving away the EU nurses the NHS desperately needs.

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“The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

"We will invest an extra £35 billion in our NHS through a penny on income tax and develop a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals and rely less on overseas workers going forward.”

Nigel Lee, chief operating officer at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs RSH and PRH, said throughout the whole of October, the trust saw 12,399 emergency attendances – 1,135 more than in October 2018 – with 3,985 ambulance arrivals – 621 more than this time last year.

It was the equivalent of 37 more people and 20 more ambulances every day.

Mr Lee said the rise in emergency demand had continued into November.

Across England, figures show some 83.6 per cent of patients arriving at A&E were treated or admitted in four hours during October.

The target of 95 per cent has not been met since July 2015.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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