06:27 17 August 2013
Official figures show that there were 2.9million patients in June who were waiting for NHS treatment or operations. This number is 250,000 higher compared to the same month last year. Labour blamed cuts to nursing jobs and overflowing accidents and emergency departments to the increasing number, which reached 5-year high.
The figures were published by NHS England on Thursday after a report by Monitor, the NHS regulator, warned that non-emergency procedures were being cancelled by some trusts in order to effectively deal with higher load of emergency cases.
Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne MP said, as referred to in one report by the Daily Mail: “This year, thousands of extra patients are facing the agony of a long-awaited operation being cancelled as overflowing A&E departments need more and more hospital beds.
“David Cameron wasted £3 billion on an NHS reorganisation that took the focus off patient care. At the same time, almost five thousand nursing jobs were axed and cuts to older people's care budgets left thousands more vulnerable people arriving at A&E."
However, a Department of Health spokeswoman said that the “NHS is performing well.”
They said, as referred to in the same report by the Daily Mail: "But despite this average waiting times are low and stable and the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks is nearly 55,000 lower than in May 2010, and the number of people waiting for more than a year to start treatment is the lowest it has ever been."
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