If there were ever any doubts that the state of the NHS would be a major issue in the General Election the last few weeks should have dispelled them, writes Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich, David Ellesmere.
Failures at multiple points in the system - lack of doctors and nurses, cuts in social care, the botched abolition of NHS Direct - are putting huge pressure on A&E units. The number of people having to wait more than four hours is at its highest since records began a decade ago.
Last week even Ipswich Hospital which, due to the heroic efforts of staff, has generally performed better than most dropped way below target with one person in eleven waiting more than four hours.
And do not have an accident in Colchester. A shocking one in three patients had to wait more than four hours at their A&E.
The Government seems to have run out of ideas. Its hugely wasteful £3bn restructure was designed to allow more of the NHS to be run by the private sector who would save the day.
That is now shown to be nonsense as the first private company to run an NHS hospital has handed back the keys saying it can’t make a profit.
David Cameron’s health policies are crashing around his ears.
The old saying has never been truer: “You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS”. Can we really allow them to have their hands on the NHS for another five years?