RISHI Sunak today vowed to slash NHS waiting lists in record time as he announced a major expansion of hospital beds and ambulance vehicles.
The PM was at Teeside University in Middlesborough to reveal his two year recovery plan for the embattled health service.
3Rishi Sunak answered questions from health workers at Teeside University in Middlesborough this morningCredit: Getty3Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Steve Barclay met ambulance workers in the North East this morningCredit: PA3NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard joined the PM and Health Secretary on a tour of the University Hospital of North TeesCredit: PAIn his second “PM Connect” Q&A with health workers, Mr Sunak pledged the “largest and fastest ever improvement in emergency waiting times in NHS history”.
A staggering 7 million Brits are currently sitting on hospital waiting lists.
Outlining his four point plan, the PM promised to increase hospital capacity, expand staffing levels, speed up discharges and improve NHS 111.
Mr Sunak said: “We’ve got this great plan and now we’ve got to deliver it.
“I feel really confident that we can deliver it because ultimately, it’s because of all of you and the hard work and the ingenuity that you bring to your jobs day in day out that we’re going to fix this problem.”
“We’re going to improve things for patients and make an enormous difference to people up and down the country.”
The NHS is hanging on by a thread with waiting lists toppling millions.
A&E times hit a record high last year, with 350,000 patients waiting longer than TWELVE hours.
To tackle the issue, Mr Sunak confirmed hospitals will get 5,000 more beds and 800 ambulances to ease the pressure on emergency departments.
He also pledged an addition 100 mental health ambulances.
And proposals are in place for three quarters of A&E patients to be seen within four hours by spring next year.
The PM pledged to boost the number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS.
He also promised to look at ways staff can work more flexibly.
On the topic of of pay rises for nurses, the PM said he’s not in a position to hike salaries.
He argued that he’s constrained by record high taxes that the public desperately want to get down, leaving little room for more spending.
And he added that public sector pay rises would worsen inflation.
“The most important thing that I need to do for all of you… is to halve inflation,” the PM said.
“It’s the thing that’s going to make the biggest difference to all of your lives and everyone else’s.
“An important part of us getting a grip of inflation and halving it is making sure that the government is responsible, whether it’s borrowing because if that gets out of control that makes it worse, or making sure pay settlements are reasonable.”
The PM said he wants to expand the provision of “virtual wards”, where patients get treated at home so hospital beds don’t get blocked.
There are currently 7,000 Brits in virtual beds but in the short term the PM wants this rise to 10,000.
It is hoped eventually about 50,000 people a month could eventually be cared for at home, monitored using gadgets and apps.
Mr Sunak said he wants more people manning NHS 111 lines.
The government wants call handlers to have expertise in a range of areas, so patients will only be advised to go to hospital if and what that’s necessary.
The PM said: “We’re going to put different types of people into the 111 service so that people can get the help that they need on the phone and hopefully end up not needing to go to A&E in the first place.”
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk