Rishi Sunak Promised To Cut NHS Waiting Lists. They've Gone Up By 330,000

Prime minister accused of "living in a parallel universe".
Rishi Sunak with staff at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London last year.
Rishi Sunak with staff at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London last year.
JAMIE LORRIMAN via Getty Images

NHS waiting lists have risen by 330,000 since Rishi Sunak promised to cut them.

Official figures published this morning revealed that there were 7.54 million outstanding NHS treatments in February.

That compares to 7.21 million in January last year, when the prime minister made his pledge.

At the time, he said: “No tricks, no ambiguity - we’re either delivering for you or we’re not.”

Responding to the latest figures, the prime minister insisted they showed the government was “making headway” towards bringing waiting lists down.

He said: “A drop of almost 200,000 in the last five months shows what the NHS can do for patients. Had there been no strike action, an extra 430,000 patients could have been treated.

“We still have more work to do, but our plan is working.”

But Lib Dem leader Ed Davey accused Sunak of “living in a parallel universe”.

He said: “This week we uncovered that over 150,000 people waited over 24 hours in A&E last year. Now we find that waiting lists have gone up by 330,000 after Rishi Sunak pledged to cut them.

“To add insult to injury, the Conservatives have cut NHS spending while millions of patients are suffering in pain on endless waiting lists.

“Rishi Sunak is living in a parallel universe if he thinks our National Health Service is recovering.

“The Conservative Party and the prime minister are out of touch, out of ideas and deserve to be kicked out of office.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said Sunak had “failed on the NHS”.

He said: “If only Rishi Sunak was as desperate to turn around the NHS for real as he is to spin the stats.”


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