Waiting times in the NHS had been dropping since the 1990s but the rules limiting junior doctors to a 48-hour week, which were implemented last August, had reversed the trend. Thousands more patients were now waiting longer than 18 weeks for surgery……..
Waiting times reached an all-time low at the end of 2008, with patients waiting just a few weeks for surgery on average.
However, since the EU directive cut junior doctors’ hours from 56 to 48 per week, these gains had been wiped out, the Royal College said.
According to data from the Department of Health, the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks — from GP referral to being treated as an inpatient — fell steadily from April 2007, when almost 34,000 people were waiting, to 8,674 in December 2008.
The figure remained stable at about 10,000 until June 2009, just before the new rules came in, when the rise began.
So, if you were a Labour politician, what would you do with these figures?
Yes, very good.
And it would be true that waiting times had gone up. That it was because of the Labour decision to actually implement the EU restriction on working hours need not be mentioned. Anyway, even if someone tries to explain it that\’ll just get lost in the noise of Ohmygodthetorybastardscutshavemeantwaitingtimesaregoingup won\’t it?
Isn\’t politics wonderful…and anyone want to start a pool on the first person to be spotted doing this?