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Sun, 29 March 2020

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EXCL Labour slams ministers over 'disgraceful' delays for diagnostic scans and tests

EXCL Labour slams ministers over 'disgraceful' delays for diagnostic scans and tests
2 min read

Labour has hit out at the Government over a series of "disgraceful" delays for NHS patients waiting for diagnostic scans and tests.

Analysis of offifical figures found the number of people waiting longer than six weeks for diagnostic tests had soared since the Conservatives took office in 2010.

According to the figures, there was a 514% increase in the number of patients who failed to be seen within NHS England's six week target, rising from 5400 in October 2010 to 33199 in the same month this year.

Those waiting over thirteen weeks for test had also soared from 523 in October 2010 to 6,009 in the same period this year, an increase of 1049%.

Meanwhile, the party said the "shocking" figures also showed major delays for those waiting for tests used to diagnose cancer, such as MRI and CT scans and colonoscopys, with the number of those waiting longer than three months up almost 20% from 2018 to 2019.

Responding to the figures, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary said: "It's a disgrace that diagnostic targets have been missed for so long.

"Some of these tests will be used to diagnose cancer, and it's shameful that suspected cancer patients aren't being seen on time, especially when we know that diagnosis leads to better treatment and survival.

"These figures are a reminder that years of Tory underfunding and understaffing has left patients increasingly anxious and worries for test results, and will be forced to wait longer for vital treatment."

He added: "Boris Johnson has made big promises on the NHS to former Labour voters who have handed him an 80 seat majority. Patinets will now expect him to get a grip of the Tory made NHS crisis."

It comes after Boris Johnson used the first Queen's Speech of his new government to announce plans to enshrine in law a £34bn annual spending boost for the NHS by 2023/24.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.


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