Patient deaths while on NHS waiting lists 'terrible indictment of this Government's mismanagement', says BMA

by BMA media team

BMA press release

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 30 August 2023

Responding to figures revealed in a freedom of information request by the Labour Party, which suggests that around 121,000 patients died last year while on NHS waiting lists, Dr Emma Runswick, BMA Council deputy chair, said:

"Although the Labour Party’s figures are based on information from a small number of Trusts, for people to die whilst waiting to get the care they have been waiting for is a terrible indictment of this Government’s mismanagement of our health services. 

"For too long, the Government has sat back and, despite promises to invest in the NHS and cut waiting lists, has done very little to make any serious improvements. In fact, waiting lists have grown year-on-year under recent successive Conservative Governments. It's no secret the NHS is in crisis - we are thousands of doctors short and the ones we have are overstretched, working all hours under tremendous pressure, with many on the verge of burnout. This all has an impact on patient care.

"The only way to cut waiting lists and improve care is to invest in services and the workforce and come back to the table to negotiate an agreed end to the doctors’ industrial dispute. Government must wake up to this reality and start valuing doctors instead of blaming them for the Government's own failures at every turn."

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.  

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