AN ANDOVER councillor has spoken out about ‘crippling’ NHS waiting lists, calling on the government to ‘get its ducks in a row’ to remedy the situation.

Cllr Luigi Gregori, who presents Harroway on Andover Town Council and is also the Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for north-west Hampshire, has said that “lives are on the line” as the health secretary announces the government’s recovery plans - which won’t see an improvement in waiting list for another two years.

As previously reported, the latest stats from NHS England, published in January, reveal that 47,642 patients in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, covering the Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester area, are waiting to start treatment.

Some 15,222 patients have been left waiting more than 18 weeks after their referral to treatment, while 1,850 patients have been waiting more than a whole year.

Nationally, six million people are on NHS waiting lists – a number that has doubled since 2015.

READ MORE: Patients at A&E facing long wait and shortage of beds figures show

Cllr Gregori said: “It beggars belief to see the government sit on their hands and fail to sort out NHS waiting times because of internal Conservative Party fighting. These stats show that the number of patients waiting is about equivalent to the population of Andover.”

He continued: “They are being left to suffer because the government cannot seem to get its ducks in a row. Residents have played their part in protecting the NHS and now they deserve better. At the very least the Government should start the process to help the thousands of people left stranded on huge waiting lists in our area. Instead waiting lists will continue to go up for another two years.”

This week, the health secretary has said that the NHS waiting list in England will not start to fall for another two years and could even double in size.

SEE ALSO: Javid sets out plans to tackle NHS backlog of care

Health Secretary Sajid Javid set out in the Commons how the NHS would tackle the backlog built up during the Covid-19 pandemic, including new targets for reducing long waits and getting people checked for illnesses more quickly.

Cllr Gregori added: "Johnson needs to understand that not tackling the NHS waiting lists will lead to unnecessary deaths. There are lives on the line right now - and that’s bigger than saving his job.

“We need a serious plan to increase hospital beds and fill the 100,000 staffing vacancies that are crippling our NHS."

Message from the editor 

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support. 

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from Andover by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page. 

Kimberley Barber