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WAITING LISTS SOAR AS BIRMINGHAM’S NHS FACES CASH CRISIS

Shocking new figures reveal that waiting lists are soaring across Birmingham’s NHS, while health chiefs are being forced to find savings of hundreds of millions of pounds. The figures, revealed through Freedom of Information requests by Liam Byrne MP, along with analysis commissioned from the House of Commons library show Since 2013: The number of people waiting more than four hours in A&E has increased by a staggering 127%. 66% more cancer patients are having to wait more than 62 days for treatment. 65% more people have had to wait more than 18 weeks to receive consultantled treatment. Birmingham’s NHS is now mired in a financial crisis: Birmingham’s NHS chiefs are now being forced to find cuts, known as ‘efficiencies’ in NHS language, of £155.5 million this year and £87 million next year. Together, two of the city’s key hospitals, along with the city’s primary care system – which funds GP’s and health visitors – are running in the red to the one to nearly £23 million, this year. In total, the city’s NHS now faces a gigantic £0.75 billion black hole to fill by 2020. Liam Byrne said: “This shocking picture confirms what we all feared: Birmingham’s NHS is in crisis. The scale of the cuts to our city’s social care budgets is overloading our doctor’s surgeries and hospitals just at the time that health chiefs are being forced to find hundreds of millions of pounds of new cuts. “The NHS is our greatest national treasure. Frontline staff are telling me that they’ve never felt pressure like this – and morale is at rock bottom. “We simply cannot go on like this. It’s taking us back to the worst days of the 1980’s.” Liam is planning to bring together front-line staff, health leaders and trade unions for an emergency summit to discuss the crisis. For further information, contact the Office of Liam Byrne MP on byrnel@parliament.uk or 020 7219 6953.

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