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NHS Running on Empty 30 March 2022

It feels like the NHS and social care have been running on empty at full capacity and without enough staff for years.

Covid exposed that there was no slack whatsoever in the system and simply not enough staff. We are seeing dozens of ambulances queuing daily outside Treliske, hundreds of people in Cornwall without care and thousands on ever-growing waiting lists for treatment.

It is hard to know where to start first to fix a service in this position.

However, it’s been done once before, that time was after 18 long years of Tory rule. 18 years was such a long time for our services to be starved of investment. But by the end of the last Labour government, satisfaction levels with the NHS had gone from their lowest to their highest levels.

Can we please not let it get to 18 years this time. There will be nothing left.

“Only once have satisfaction levels been lower since the poll started in 1983. That was in 1997, and shortly after that the Blair government started increasing the budget by record amounts.”

Ambulance waiting times for the most urgent emergency calls are now 19 mins 36 seconds in Cornwall when the target is 7 minutes.

For category 2 (strokes etc where an urgent action is needed within the hour to prevent permanent damage) the target is 18 minutes. Ambulances or category 2 calls are currently taking 3 hrs 15 mins in Cornwall.

We have 200 people in hospital who need to be discharged; people waiting in beds for up to 2 days in A&E; and ambulances queuing outside the hospital for up to 2 days at a time.

We need more staff. Care staff are not paid as well as NHS staff and they are a main part of what we need to ‘unblock the back door’.

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