LABOUR accused the Tories yesterday of neglecting the NHS as new figures showed that the number of cancelled urgent operations had risen by two-thirds in England since they came to power.
Labour health spokeswoman Julie Cooper called on the government to “get a grip” and give the NHS additional funding as NHS England data revealed that 337 urgent operations were cancelled in July 2017 compared with 299 in the same month last year — a rise of 13 per cent.
Urgent operations include those that must be carried out within hours of injury to save a patient’s life, limb or organ. An operation recorded as cancelled will not have been rescheduled within 24 hours.
The statistics also showed a 66 per cent rise in cancelled urgent operations compared with July 2011.
A total of 4,082 urgent operations have been cancelled over the last 12 months and the figures show that 166 operations were cancelled for at least the second time over the same period.
Ms Cooper said: “The Tories’ neglect and underfunding has pushed NHS services to the brink.
“The government is letting down hundreds of patients in need of urgent operations every month.
“The truth is this Tory government is failing to provide patients with the high-quality care they deserve.
“It’s about time they get a grip and give the NHS the funding and resources it desperately needs.”
An NHS England spokesman said: “The number of cancelled urgent operations remains low in the context of the millions of operations performed in the NHS each year.
“The figures show that critical care capacity across the system remains stable and average occupancy rates have dropped.”