Labour MPs got no useful answers when they challenged ministers to explain how they would cut massive waiting lists in the Midlands, with NHS data showing Birmingham with the worst waiting lists in the country.
Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne highlighted the disastrous performance of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB), running major hospitals across Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, where the latest figures show 183,000 patients were waiting for treatment in December, of whom only 38% had been waiting less than 18 weeks.
Health minister Maria Caulfield claimed Covid was to blame, and that the Government had committed funding for elective recovery. However NHS England’s recent Delivery Plan, constrained by the limits of last autumn’s spending review, accepts that waiting lists will continue to go up until 2024 – perhaps as high as nine million – and numbers waiting over a year will not be reduced until 2025.
Full story in The Lowdown, 9 March 2022