NHS waiting lists for tests to diagnose heart issues and cancer up nearly 10 per cent

NHS waiting lists for vital tests used to diagnose heart problems and cancer have increased by nearly 10 per cent since 2020, new research has revealed.

The figures, from the House of Commons Library, show that waiting lists for basic diagnostic tests in South-east London increased by 7.9 per cent, up to 40,092. 

The research also shows that more than 12.6 per cent of people waited more than six weeks for one of these tests in July – the NHS target is less than one per cent.

The South East London Integrated Care Board (ICB) covers the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark

The 15 types of tests that make up the list provided by the Commons Library include MRIs, CT scans, Echocardiography and DEXA scans. 

For MRIs – which are often used to detect tumours and cancer – the waiting list in South-east London spiked by 15.1 per cent from 2020 to 2023, up to 7,402. 

The Lambeth Liberal Democrats are calling for investment in new hospital equipment and an expansion of community diagnostic centres to bring services closer to where people live and ensure they can be seen more quickly.

Councillor Donna Harris, leader of the Liberal Democrat official opposition on Lambeth council, said:  “What this Conservative Government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. 

“Thousands of patients in Lambeth are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment.

“Ministers are missing in action in this NHS crisis, and it’s patients in Lambeth who are suffering. 

“We need urgent action to get on top of this mess, end these appalling delays and ensure our community gets the local health services that we deserve.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Health and Social Care said: “Cutting waiting lists is one of the government’s top five priorities and despite disruption from strikes, 18-month waits have fallen by more than 90 per cent since their peak in September 2021.

 “We have exceeded our target to deliver 10,000 virtual beds by winter  which will free up hospital beds and increase capacity so more people can be treated.

“Alongside investing record funding, including an extra £200million to support the NHS during winter, we are working to get 800 new ambulances on the road and create 5,000 extra hospital beds to further reduce waiting times.” 

(Picture: Rawpixel)

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