Michael Dugher has accused the Government of “shocking incompetence” after waiting times at Barnsley Hospital’s A&E unit hit a new low – with just 83.5% of patients seen within four hours.
The Barnsley East MP demanded urgent action from the Government as new figures revealed the number of patients seen at Barnsley A&E within four hours fell from 87.7% in November to only 83.5% in December.
Under national targets set by the Government, 95% of A&E patients should be transferred, admitted or discharged within four hours.
But the latest figures from NHS England show only 83.5% of the 6,980 people who attended Barnsley A&E department in December were seen within four hours. The hospital has not met the 95% target since last August.
Mr Dugher visited the hospital in January to meet staff and discuss with its chief executive how it was coping with the challenges it faced over the winter and its efforts to reduce waiting times.
He condemned PM Theresa May and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for failing to properly fund the NHS or deal with the impact of the crisis in social care which had increased the pressure on hospitals.
He said: “The Government is presiding over a National Health Service at breaking point. We know it’s harder than ever to see your GP and that A&E has come under enormous strain, but these latest figures on waiting times are genuinely shocking.
“Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May are in complete denial about a deepening crisis cause by their Government’s policies.
“Cuts of £4.6 billion to the social care budget have left hospitals unable to discharge patients and cut the number of available hospital beds.
“Hospitals are overcrowded, understaffed and underfunded. The Government’s disastrous policies, including cuts to community pharmacies, will only make things worse.
“The staff at Barnsley Hospital do a fantastic job in increasingly difficult circumstances, and it is high-time our Government got a grip and gave them the support they deserve.”