Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on NHS statistics published today, said:
“Today’s figures suggest a growing and alarming backlog of clinical need with patients waiting longer for operations or diagnostic tests. GP referrals are down and patients are avoiding A&E and calling out ambulances.
“We support the lockdown to suppress this horrific virus but the far-reaching consequences for wider health outcomes must not be ignored.
“Resetting the NHS to continue treating Covid and non-Covid patients is a huge priority. We’re calling on ministers to urgently come forward with a resourced plan to ensure every patient receives the care they need.”
NHS stats published today show that:
A&E attendances at hospitals in England were down 57% in April compared with the same month a year ago – falling to the lowest figure on record.
The number of attendances admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours is the lowest reported since the collection began and is likely to be a result of the COVID-19 response.
GP referrals made for year-to-date (YTD) March 2020 decreased by 4.1% compared to March 2019. These referrals had shown a 2.1% increase at the same stage last year.
GP referrals seen for YTD March 2020 decreased by 1.1% compared to March 2019. These referrals had shown a 2.1% increase at the same stage last year.
20.9 thousand calls to 999 answered the fewest since these data items were first collected nationally in December 2017.