8 February 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • NHS waiting lists: Sunak’s broken pledge having “catastrophic impact”
  • A&E waits: This Conservative government is a catastrophe for our NHS
  • 17% spike in children’s tooth extractions: If dental care under this Conservative government was a tooth, it would need extraction

NHS waiting lists: Sunak’s broken pledge having “catastrophic impact”

The latest NHS figures show that waiting lists have grown by almost 400,000 to 7.6 million since Rishi Sunak made his pledge to cut them in January 2023.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

Rishi Sunak has proven time and time again that he cannot be trusted to cut NHS waiting times. Patients across the country are waiting desperately for appointments, while Conservative MPs continue to fight amongst themselves.

It is clear that Rishi Sunak’s broken pledge is having a catastrophic impact on our NHS. His planned NHS spending cuts must be cancelled now to make sure patients get the care they deserve.

A&E waits: This Conservative government is a catastrophe for our NHS

The latest NHS data has revealed that the number of people waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments from a decision to admit them to actually being admitted hit 54,308 in January, up sharply from 44,045 in December.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on this Conservative Government to cancel their planned real-terms cut of £1.3bn to the NHS budget in 2024/25 and use those funds to increase the number of NHS dental appointments, recruit and retain more GPs, and most importantly for A&E services, increase the number of beds in hospitals.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP said:

A&E departments are bearing the brunt of the crisis in our NHS. Patients are left on trolleys in corridors for hours on end, waiting in intense pain, whilst NHS staff are heroically trying to cope even whilst being overworked and burnt out. It is an utterly depressing and unacceptable situation.

This Conservative government has brought our NHS to its knees. Ministers can go on the airwaves and pretend everything is fine but their uncaring statements do not survive contact with reality. There is no way to dress up the complete catastrophe that this Conservative government has been for our NHS.

The blame for this disaster lies squarely with Rishi Sunak. He must cancel his planned cuts to the NHS budget and put that money towards reducing waits for NHS services.

17% spike in children’s tooth extractions: If dental care under this Conservative government was a tooth, it would need extraction

The latest NHS figures show that there has been a 17% increase in the number of tooth decay related tooth extractions for children in 2022-23 compared to the previous year. Over the period there were 47,581 total extractions in those aged 0-19.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a dental healthcare rescue plan to boost the number of appointments.

The party is also calling for reforms to guarantee access to an NHS dentist for everyone needing urgent and emergency care, ending DIY dentistry and “dental deserts”, additional resources for mobile dental units to visit schools, community centres and care homes, and the removal of VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP said:

If dental care under this Conservative government was a tooth, it would need extraction.

What this Conservative government has done to dentistry in this country is nothing short of a scandal. Patients are forced to literally queue round the block for dental care and it is children who are bearing the brunt of this neglect.

Tooth decay disrupts lives and is often easily preventable. Parents shouldn’t be forced to see their children in pain.

Yet again, this Conservative Government is tinkering around the edges of the crisis in NHS dentistry with its latest plan. They need to get to the heart of the problem and reform the NHS dental contract to bring more dentists back to the NHS, as well as ending VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste, and providing additional resources for mobile dental units to visit schools.

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One Comment

  • Suzanne Fletcher 9th Feb '24 - 9:17am

    There is little in all of these press releases to talk about actual solutions rather than restore cuts.
    Re dentists, there is no mention of the huge problem of their not being enough qualified dentists. We have had long waits for appointments with our privately paid for dentist due to big shortage of dentists and difficulty recruiting.
    Also there is no talk here of training up such as dental technicians (I think that is the correct title) for more routine work which is happening more and more, but not enough.

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