Patients in South-east London face the fourth longest NHS waiting lists in the whole of the UK, new data has revealed.
Research from the House of Commons Library – commissioned by the Liberal Democrats – shows that the South-east London Integrated Care Board (ICB), which covers Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark, has 236,442 incomplete patient pathways.
A patient pathway refers to the stages of care a patient receives until the end of their illness.
For every 1,000 patients in South East London, 113 patient pathways are incomplete.
The Lambeth Liberal Democrats have hit out at the Government, saying the “terrifying” figures show ministers have let South-east London ICB “grind to a halt” under the pressure of growing NHS backlogs.
The party has said the Conservative Government failed to prioritise the NHS in its recent Autumn Statement despite the number of people unable to return to work because they are waiting for treatment.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 2.6 million people are out of work due to long-term sickness, up from two million in 2019.
Councillor Donna Harris, leader of Lambeth Liberal Democrats, said: “People in South London deserve an NHS that is there to look after them when they are in need.
“Instead, this Conservative Government has run our local health services into the ground.
“It should not be too much to ask for people in Lambeth, Lewisham, or Southwark, to be able to get a GP appointment when they need one or get the treatment they deserve in time.
“That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent investment in the NHS to bring down waiting lists as the health service prepares for yet another winter crisis under this Conservative government.
“The Prime Minister’s abject failure to bring down the NHS backlogs like he promised is having real consequences for our community.
“Far too many people are being made to suffer unnecessarily at the hands of the Conservative party’s incompetence.”
The Department for Health and Social Care and the South-east London ICB has been approached for comment.
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