Helena is running a campaign on reducing ambulance waiting times. You can sign her petition here.
Ambulance waiting times are increasing rapidly, with the local average waiting time for category two patients being 52 minutes. Worryingly, the target time is 18 minutes and these types of patients are often stroke and heart attack patients and comprise 60% of all calls. This statistic is only one of many that show worrying trends in NHS ambulance services.
Image two demonstrates how South East Coast ambulance waiting times for all patient categories have increased since 2017, with category four patients (people needing hospital ward assessments) seeing a substantial increase. This is why we hear so many dreadful stories people being forced to wait hours in the cold for an ambulance. Importantly, all this means that getting patients to A&E is becoming considerably longer, something NHS England estimates is likely contributing to 500 excess deaths each week across the UK, some of which will be in our area.
Most worryingly, response times within the Hastings & Rye area for the most urgent emergency calls have also seen a rise in waiting times within the last year, see image three. Therefore, even patients with potentially life-threatening conditions are likely to experience unacceptable waiting times. Again, Labour argues that the government needs to do more to tackle this problem and calls upon our local Conservative MP to put more pressure on the government to take immediate action.
Figure four shows the number of A&E patients being seen within the 4hr waiting time target has decreased considerably, with winter last year seeing local NHS services being unable to see roughly 30% of patients within an acceptable time-frame. All this means that more patients are waiting in discomfort for increasingly longer times.
Helena Dollimore, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye, said, "People across Hastings and Rye deserve better and Labour is calling on local Conservative MPS to put more pressure on the government to take more action on the issue."
Helena added, "“Patients are forced to wait longer because the Conservatives have failed to train enough staff over the past 12 years and have mismanaged our NHS. Labour will tackle this problem at its root. We will train a new generation of doctors and nurses so patients get the treatment they need, when they need it. We will abolish non-doms to pay for it because patients need treatment more than the wealthiest need a tax break and if you live and work in Britain you should pay your taxes here.”
Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, released Labour's plan saying, "The next Labour government will get patients treated on time by providing the NHS with the staff, equipment and modern technology it needs.” Read more about Labour's plan here.