NHS Waiting Lists Have Soared By 400,000 Since Rishi Sunak Pledged To Cut Them

Downing Street has admitted they are "still far too high".
Rishi Sunak is under mounting pressure as the general election looms.
Rishi Sunak is under mounting pressure as the general election looms.
Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

NHS waiting lists have soared by 400,000 since Rishi Sunak pledged to bring them down, it has emerged.

Data released this morning by NHS England shows they stood at 7.61 million treatments at the end of November.

Although that was around 100,000 less than the previous month, it is still far higher than the 7.19 million waiting list in January last year, when Sunak made cutting waiting lists one of his five pledges to voters.

Lib Dem health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak promised to cut waiting lists when he made his pledge, instead he cut spending on the NHS.

“Now one year on, millions are left waiting in pain for the treatment they need and the number has only grown over the last year.

“It’s unthinkable that Conservative ministers are now planning to slash funding for the NHS further even after all the damage they have caused.

“We need a general election now to kick this out-of-touch government out of office, fix the NHS and care and get the change the country deserves.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting pointed out that the numbers waiting for longer than 18 months for treatment had gone up.

He said: “Rishi Sunak promised to eliminate the longest waits by last summer, yet more and more patients are having to put their lives on hold for unacceptable lengths of time.

“The last Labour government cut waiting lists from 18 months to 18 weeks. We did it before and we will do it again.”

Downing Street blamed the ongoing junior doctors’ strike for the stubbornly high figures.

The prime minister’s spokesman said: “Waiting lists are still far too high. They must come down further.

“What we have seen from the statistics published today is that in November - the first month without industrial action - they fell by 95,000. That’s the biggest fall since 2010.

“That is a sign of the progress that NHS staff can make when they don’t need to contend with industrial action.”

Sunak’s other pledges were halving inflation, growing the economy, cutting national debt and stopping small boats carrying asylum seekers across the Channel.

But despite the prime minister’s claim to be making “progress” on them, only one - halving inflation - has definitely been achieved.


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