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Letter from NHS Deputy Chief Executive warns “too many patients” have “unacceptable” waits in David Cameron’s NHS

A letter from the NHS Deputy Chief Executive to senior NHS managers, uncovered by Labour, demonstrates concern at the highest levels of the NHS at deteriorating performance on waiting times under David Cameron.

The letter reveals the truth behind David Cameron’s claims that the NHS is safe in his hands. While he says that waiting lists are going down – a claim he repeated at Prime Minister’s Questions this week - inside the Department of Health senior officials are saying the opposite. The NHS is slipping backwards under David Cameron. To download a copy of the letter please click here.

The letter says:

"… in November 2011, 47 commissioners and 30 acute trusts failed to meet the 90 per cent admitted standard."

"It is unacceptable for performance to fall below the expected standards."

"… published referral to treatment incomplete pathway data shows that too many patients are still being reported to be waiting a long time, in particular, those waiting over 52 weeks before starting their treatment."

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

"This letter gives the lie to David Cameron's complacent claims that NHS waiting lists are coming down. The NHS Deputy Chief Executive warns of 'unacceptable' waits, saying that 'too many patients are still being reported to be waiting a long time'.

“David Cameron's Government lost its grip on waiting times when it relaxed Labour’s standards. Behind David Cameron’s spin, this letter reveals his Government’s desperate rear guard action to regain control as long waits return to the NHS.

"This confirms what Labour and health professionals have been telling David Cameron all along: the Government is damaging frontline patient care with its distracting top-down reorganisation of the NHS. More people have waited longer than 18 weeks for their operations, one-year waits have gone up by almost 200 per cent and major A&E units have missed David Cameron’s lowered four-hour target for the last six weeks in a row.

"With long waits up since the election and nurses being cut, David Cameron should listen to Labour, drop the Bill and use the money saved to protect 6,000 nursing posts that are set to be cut by this Tory-led Government."

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