THE NHS faces another winter healthcare crisis with hundreds of operations cancelled unless the Tories create a £500 million emergency fund, Labour warned yesterday.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said that 10,000 people a day could be stuck in A&E waiting rooms for an extra four hours this winter unless sufficient funding is made.
A “collapse” on the same scale as last year’s winter crisis will also lead to the cancellation of hundreds of operations and longer waiting lists for medical procedures, according to Labour analysis of official figures.
In his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Mr Ashworth said: “Last winter, Theresa May stuck her head in the sand and refused to give the NHS the money it needed to keep services running properly.
“This decision pushed NHS staff beyond their limits and caused misery for patients in every part of the country. It can’t be allowed to happen again.”
Hospital waits are already at a record high, with NHS England stats showing a shocking 10,546 per cent rise in the last five years in the number of people waiting for more than 12 hours in A&E.
Mr Ashworth’s fears were shared by Dr Rachel Clarke, a junior doctor known for confronting Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over cuts to the NHS.
Addressing a fringe meeting on Sunday, she said: “We know that patients will die, probably, on trolleys again this year because there is not enough funding for a safe standard of care.”