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Health Secretary Hunt “clearly incompetent"

Thursday, January 12, 2017

NHS figures reveal Hunt’s “horror show” says GMB

Union calls on Prime Minister to hold urgent summit as NHS crisis deepens.

GMB, the union for NHS staff, said new figures released by NHS England today showed the depth of Health Secretary Jeremy’s Hunt’s “horror show”.

As the Health Secretary was “clearly incompetent” and unable to deal with the deepening crisis, the union urged Prime Minister Theresa May to end her “state of denial” to call an urgent summit to tackle the deepening crisis.

Today’s figures reveal A&E units have failed to hit their four hour waiting targets for 16 months in a row.

Further GMB analysis of today’s November 2016 NHS statistics reveals:

· The A&E four hour treatment target that Health Secretary has suggested dropping was missed in 12% of cases, compared to just 3% in November 2010. 221,712 people missed the A&E target in November 2016 - a 58,000 (36%) increase on 2015, and a 175,000 (377%) increase on 2010

· Over the last year, the proportion of suspected heart attack 999 calls being responded to within the target time of 8 minutes fell from 72% to 68% since November 2015

· The number of people waiting for a critical diagnostic test, such as an MRI scan, rose by 350,000 since 2010, a rise of 65%

· The amount of time when NHS beds are blocked by acutely ill people whose discharge from hospital is delayed due to a lack of a social care package rose by 61% compared to last year, and by over 400% since 2010.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary said:

"This clearly incompetent Health Secretary has lost all control over this mounting crisis – he is presiding over a horror show. It is time for the Prime Minister to get a grip and call an urgent summit to tackle it.”

"The accumulation of so many missed targets during Hunt's dismal tenure is so extreme he is now moving the goal posts to fudge the figures.”

"Our analysis of today’s new statistics makes for sober reading - and it’s quite clear that the situation is worsening by the day.”


GMB Press Office 07958 156846 or at


A&E targets

According to NHS England's publication A&E Attendances & Emergency Admissions statistics, published 12 January 2017, 88.4% of all A&E patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, compared to 97.2% in November 2010. 221,712 people were processed after four hours in November 2016, compared to 163,472 in November 2015 and 46,436 in November 2010.

999 call data

According to November 2016’s 999 call handling performance data, the proportion of Red 1 calls (the most time critical, where patients are not breathing or do not have a pulse) responded to within 8 minutes fell from 72% to 68%.


Proportion of Red 1 calls responded to within 8 minutes

Proportion of Red 2 calls responded to within 8 minutes

Proportion of Category A calls responded to within 19 minutes
























November 999 call handling performance data. Red 1 = suspected cardiac cases. Red 2 = other life-threatening cases. Category A = all life threatening cases.

Delays in transfer ('bed blockers')

According to NHS England's latest Delayed Transfer of Care data series, published 12 January 2017, the number of Delayed Days attributed to acutely ill patients awaiting a social care package in their own home rose to 7,035 in November 2016, compared to 9,435 patients in 2015 and 2,877 patients in 2010.

Diagnostic tests

According to NHS England's latest Monthly Diagnostics release, published 12 January 2017, the number of people waiting for an acute diagnostic test in November 2016 was 885,774. In November 2010 it was 537,938 - an increase of 65%.

Photo credit: NHS Confederation via Flickr

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