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MPs blame Tories for years of rising NHS waiting times

THE Tory government has “overseen years of decline in cancer and waiting-times targets” in the NHS, a cross-party panel of MPs has said in a damning report.

The Commons public accounts committee warned that the waiting list for treatment of 6.1 million people is likely to grow for the next few years and that performance against targets will be “poor.”

It found that the NHS has not met the 18-week target for people to receive planned treatment in England since February 2016, while the number of people waiting more than a year or two has grown.

A total of 23,778 people had also been waiting more than two years to start hospital treatment at the end of January, up from the 2,608 who had been waiting longer than two years last April.

Labour MP Dame Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, said the government “has overseen a long-term decline in elective and critical cancer care that is dragging our National Health Service and the heroic staff down.”

Health campaigners argued that only a “fully public NHS” will end the years-long decline in performance on cancer and waiting-time targets.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “It is deeply worrying that NHS performance on cancer waiting times is declining and the waiting list is growing, but it is sadly not a surprise.

“The only solution to this crisis is to reinstate the NHS as a fully public service and fund it properly.”

Fellow campaign group NHS Million said that the Tories “would love you to believe that the shocking NHS waiting lists are all down to Covid. But the reality is that there were 4.4 million people on waiting lists in 2019.”

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