Most of us have experienced first-hand the excellent care given by Kings
College Hospital. Kings has one of the busiest and best A&E departments in
London. And they do an excellent job with the resources they have. But the
challenges it faces are significant. The cracks are beginning to show and the
problems that we feared are beginning to become very clear.
I’m extremely concerned by the latest figures on A&E waiting times. In December 2014,
11% of people attending A&E waited more than 4 hours before being admitted or
discharged. Since the 1st January 2015 this has risen to 15%.
With people finding it harder to get to see their GP and home care services for
the elderly over stretched, more people go to A&E. And the stretch on home
care services means that some elderly patients stay longer in hospital than they
need or want. And that means queues build up as patients in A&E can’t be
found a bed.
The NHS is not safe in the Tories’ hands. Over the years I’ve fought hard
alongside my South London colleagues for Kings to be improved, not be pulled
back. My worry is that with the Tories and Lib Dems wasting billions of
pounds on NHS reorganisation, we are slipping back to the dark days before
Labour invested in hospitals like Kings to modernise the NHS and raise
The next Labour government will rescue the NHS with a £2.5 billion a year ‘Time to Care’
fund - on top of Tory spending plans - to fund new staff, including 8,000 more GPs. We will
also guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day if you need it.