March 6, 2008 12:00 AM

Treatment waiting times in hospitals have grown by a fifth under the current Labour Government in spite of record amounts of money being given to the NHS.

The Government's insistence on targets rather than clinical needs has distorted the ability of the Health Service to deliver proper care when it's needed.

In addition, the NHS is now heading for a near £2bn surplus. This surplus is an appalling indicator of wasted opportunities at a time when the local Primary Care Trust must deal with a historic debt issue.

County Health Spokesman, Councillor Geoff Heathcock commented:

"It is a disgrace that people should still have to wait for a consultant's appointment, never mind treatment, with the resultant anguish that comes with delay.

"This is not a legacy with which Labour should be proud - and they should be held to book for it accordingly.

"We have new contracts for expensive consultants, failed management being paid large pay-offs, more target counters. And yet key clinical treatments are either not funded or delayed. These treatments include crucial care such as audiology work hearing aids, eye operations and appropriate help for early onset dementia.

"The priorities are wrong and driven by short-term financial worry rather than the longer term well-being of the individual."


Notes to Editors

1. Councillor Heathcock is available at 07748 748533 or 01223. 244901

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