Pressing the Minister of State for Health over a crisis in rising waiting times at the BRI between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019, Imran demanded that the Government explain why they rejected his warnings in October 2019 and failed to deliver additional emergency funding.

Following Government underfunding of the NHS that saw high waiting times at the BRI’s A&E Department in the winter months of late 2018 and early 2019, in October 2019, Imran raised his serious concern that waiting times over Winter 2019 would rise yet again and requested to meet with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, to discuss options for emergency funding for Bradford to avert a further crisis.

However, this request and offer to work together was rejected by the Health Secretary, and between Winter 2018 and Winter 2019, the number of patients attending A&E at Bradford Royal Infirmary who were admitted, transferred or discharged within the Government’s four-hour target fell by 7 percentage points and stood 10 points lower than the national average, leaving more patients waiting in corridors, ambulances and A&E departments as NHS staff are pushed to breaking point.

According to the King’s Fund, an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England, waiting times in A&E Departments are a key measure of how the NHS is performing. However, the target to be seen within four hours, introduced in 2004, has been missed nationally in every month since July 2015, putting patients at risk as they wait longer and longer to be seen.

Speaking on rising waiting times at Bradford Royal Infirmary, Imran said:

“Last October I warned the Health Secretary that the NHS in Bradford was heading into another winter crisis, and I requested an urgent meeting with him to discuss emergency funding in order to avert it and protect the safety of patients. Unfortunately, the Health Secretary rejected this offer to work together to get a better deal for patients in Bradford, and sadly we have now seen waiting times rise yet again as a result.

“Patients in Bradford deserve better than being left to suffer in A&E departments and in the back of ambulances for hours on end, and the Government now need to put a stop to their near-decade long running down of our NHS that has seen the biggest funding squeeze in its history.”

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