Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called for immediate action from the Conservative Government to tackle the NHS waiting list crisis after it emerged that at the end of October 2021, there were 16,356 people on the waiting list at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Eighty-five of these people had been waiting for more than a year for an appointment.
In March 2020, at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, there were 4,235,970 people on the NHS waiting list in England, a then record high. Now, over 1 in 10 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.
Labour has called on the Conservative Government for an action plan to deal with the chronic shortage of GPs, doctors, nurses and social care staff, and set clear targets to reduce waiting lists.
Alex has been supporting the North Tees Trust throughout the Covid pandemic and continues to campaign for a new hospital for Stockton-on-Tees and the North Tees area to tackle the health inequalities faced by local people. Most recently, Alex voiced his concerns against proposals to appoint a join Chief Executive of North and South Tees Trusts calling it a “slippery slope towards a full merger”.
In the South Tees Trust area there are 40,772 people on NHS waiting lists, with over 2,000 people waiting for more than two years.
“Thanks to over a decade of Tory cuts and mismanagement, people in Stockton North are being forced to wait months and even years for treatment, often in pain and discomfort. It is unacceptable and will have appalling consequences for patients.
“Our local health care staff have been heroes in our community throughout the pandemic and our local Trust is one of the best in the country. But they are stretched like never before after a decade of Conservative Government which has seen staff shortages of 212,000 health and social care vacancies nationally.
“The Government must give us the staff and support North Tees NHS Trust needs to get through this winter and to get patients seen on time.”