NHS figures show winter crisis is worsening
By Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
The NHS crisis is worsening.
The latest figures show that hospitals are facing the highest pressures so far this winter.
16,900 patients faced waits of half-an-hour or more in ambulances outside A&E in the week to 31st December, 4,700 of them delays of over 60 minutes. These are the worst figures for ambulance delays for a single week so far this winter.
There were 39 A&E diverts in the week to 31 December, the highest number so far this winter.
Thousands of patients being stuck in ambulances outside A&Es and many hospitals suffering from a severe lack of beds.
There were 480,400 calls to the NHS 111 service in the week to 31 December - the highest number of calls in a single week to NHS 111 since the service was created.
Liberal Democrat analysis showed that in the week from 25th to 31st December, 12 of 137 NHS trusts were 100% full on at least one day, while 57 were at least 99% full on at least one day.
In total 71,000 patients have faced delays of a half-an hour or more this winter, over 12,000 of them for an hour or more.
These figures show the NHS crisis is worsening, with thousands of patients being stuck in ambulances outside A&Es and many hospitals suffering from a severe lack of beds.
Every day seems to bring yet more bad news about the state of the health service. The blame lies firmly at the government's door.
Ministers refused to provide the funding top NHS officials said was necessary and now patients are paying the price.
It's time to give the NHS and care the extra cash they desperately need, by putting a penny on income tax to raise an extra £6bn a year.