The Liberal Democrats have warned the NHS crisis is worsening, as figures showed hospitals are facing the highest pressures so far this winter.
- 16,900 patients faced waits of half an hour or more in ambulances outside A&E in the week to New Year’s Eve. 4,700 of these were delays of over 60 minutes. These are the worst figures for ambulance delays for a single week so far this winter.
- There were 480,400 calls to the NHS 111 service in the week to 31 December – the highest number of calls in a single week to NHS 111 since the service was created.
- Liberal Democrat analysis showed that in the week from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, 12 of 137 NHS trusts were 100 per cent full on at least one day, while 57 were at least 99 per cent full on at least one day.
- In total 71,000 patients have faced delays of half-an hour or more this winter, over 12,000 of them for an hour or more.
Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable commented: “These figures show the NHS crisis is worsening, with thousands of patients being stuck in ambulances outside A&Es and many hospitals suffering from a severe lack of beds. Every day seems to bring yet more bad news about the state of the health service. The blame lies firmly at the government’s door. Ministers refused to provide the funding top NHS officials said was necessary and now patients are paying the price.
“It’s time to give the NHS and care the extra cash they desperately need, by putting a penny on income tax to raise an extra £6bn a year.”