Sick and injured people are waiting too long to be seen at A&E in Milton Keynes hospital, say politicians

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Nearly 40,000 people waited more than four hours last year

Nearly 40,000 people waited more than four hours to be seen at Milton Keynes University Hospital’s A&E last year, figures have revealed.

This is a huge 130% increase from 2019, local Liberal Democrat councillors have calculated.

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NHS targets say that the maximum wait time in A&E should be four hours or less, but this goal has not been met across England since 2015.

Milton Keynes University HospitalMilton Keynes University Hospital
Milton Keynes University Hospital

In England as a whole, there were nearly 6.5 million waits of over four hours in 2023. This is up nearly 3 million since 2019.

Meanwhile, research from the Liberal Democrats has revealed that the NHS budget is facing nearly £5 billion of real terms cuts this year, once inflation is taken into account.

Milton Keynes Lib Dem councillors are now calling on the Government to reverse its near £5 billion of real terms tax cuts to NHS funding over this year and next, and also to invest more money into local health services – including A&E.

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Responding to the latest figures, Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Public Health, Councillor Jane Carr, said: “These figures are unacceptable, but they don’t come as a surprise. Vulnerable and elderly patients in our city are being left to suffer waiting hours on end for care they desperately need, all whilst the Government continue to slash funding.

“Our fantastic NHS doctors, nurses, and staff are working tirelessly around the clock to care for residents, but they can only do so much. the Government’s decision to cut funding is putting local people’s lives at risk.”

Councillor Robin Bradburn, Deputy Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, said: “Every year A&E delays keep getting worse and worse. It’s shocking that even after alarming figures like these have emerged Rishi Sunak is still cutting the NHS budget further. People are fed up of broken promises and our city deserves better.”

Last month Milton Keynes University Hospital bosses reported they were seeing “an exceptional level of demand” for its services, following a high number of emergency admissions.

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The hospital responded by opening more than 100 escalation beds along with additional ward space to help deal with the pressure on its services.

A spokesperson said: “We are doing all we can to minimise any impact of these pressures on planned care, such as surgery and outpatients’ appointments, especially for patients who require urgent surgery for cancer or other potentially life-limiting conditions. Patients with appointments at the hospital should continue to attend, unless told otherwise.”

A&E remained open 24/7 for those requiring urgent care but the hospital warned that people “may experience longer waits” at particularly busy times.

The spokesperson said: “We are asking that patients only attend the emergency department if they require urgent and emergency care. If you do not require urgent or emergency care, please consider whether you can access the care you need via your GP, a pharmacist, by using NHS 111 online or via the NHS App, or visiting the Urgent Care Centre.”