On the 13th June 2019 the Southend Echo reported on how Southend Hospital has yet again missed targets for cancer care waiting times. 33% of patients are waiting longer than 62 days to begin their treatment. National guidelines say no more than 15% should wait longer than this.
I spoke to the The Echo and they have reported my comments in the newspaper on 14th June 2019. I said:
“We in the local Labour Party have been highlighting these shocking figures on cancer treatment waiting times for over four years now. Southend Hospital has not met its target for cancer treatment waiting times since January 2015.
“The reason for this failure is clear: years of underfunding caused by Tory austerity in the NHS. This government failed to properly fund the NHS directly and that has led to dropping standards. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Tories have also undermined this vital service in other ways, through pay freezes, the abolition of the nursing bursary and a failure of workforce planning, leading a shortage of 100,000 staff.
“I know from my personal experience of cancer treatment at Southend Hospital that NHS staff are hardworking, highly skilled and committed to their vocations. But when services are underfunded and staff livelihoods are attacked, this Tory government ties the hands of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.”