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OPINION: ‘Half of patients waited more than 4 hours in Cambridgeshire A&E department’

Ian Sollom is the Liberal Democrat choice to contest St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire at the next election.

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The number of patients waiting more than four hours in Cambridgeshire A&Es has risen by 88 per cent compared with four years ago, Liberal Democrat analysis of House of Commons Library research and NHS data reveals.

The data showed that across North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, over 67,000 people waited over four hours in 2023, over 26,000 more than in 2019, a 63.6 per cent increase.

For Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, it is estimated over 65,000 people waited over four hours in 2023, more than double the approximately 29,500 in 2019.

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The data also revealed that the number of patients who waited over 12 hours to be seen in A&E across the two NHS trusts rose from 15 in 2019 to 11,710 in 2023.

In England as a whole, there were nearly 6.5 million waits of over four hours in 2023, up nearly 3 million since 2019. This comes as Liberal Democrat research revealed that the NHS budget is facing a £4.7 billion cut this year when inflation is taken into account.

Conditions can worsen significantly for patients who are not promptly seen, and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has previously estimated that there were 23,003 excess patient deaths in England in 2022 associated with long waits.

Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to reverse its near £5 billion of real terms cuts to NHS funding over this year and next, and invest more in local health services including A&E.

Every year A&E delays keep getting worse under this Conservative government as hospitals in our area are starved of the funding they need.

These appalling delays are leaving often vulnerable and elderly patients in our area waiting for hours on end in overcrowded A&Es.

It is simply unthinkable that Rishi Sunak is now choosing to slash funding for the NHS further, while appalling figures like this are emerging. This will just pour petrol on the flames of the NHS crisis.

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Cambridgeshire deserves so much better than this Conservative government that is ignoring the suffering of patients and driving our health service into the ground.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to fix the NHS and ensure people can access the care they need.

FACT FILE

House of Commons Library data can be found here.

NHS A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions data can be found here.

Annual estimates for Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2019 and 2023 are based on the months for which data is available (January – April 2019, June – December 2023).

NHS real terms spending cuts data can be found here. Data from the RCEM can be found here.

Ian Sollom is the Liberal Democrat choice to contest the newly created constituency of St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire at the next election.

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