Almost 49,000 people in Reading waited more than four hours in A&E last year

7 Mar 2024
Lib Dem team outside RBH

The number of patients waiting more than four hours in Reading’s A&E has risen by 152% compared with four years ago, Liberal Democrat analysis of House of Commons Library research reveals.

The data showed that in Reading, almost 49,000 people waited over four hours in 2023, almost 30,000 more than in 2019, a 152% increase.

In England as a whole, there were nearly 6.5 million waits of over four hours in 2023, up nearly 3 million since 2019. This comes as Liberal Democrat research revealed that the NHS budget is facing a £4.7 billion cut this year when inflation is taken into account. 

Conditions can worsen significantly for patients who are not promptly seen, and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has previously estimated that there were 23,003 excess patient deaths in England in 2022 associated with long waits.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to reverse its nearly £5 billion of real terms cuts to NHS funding over this year and next, and invest more in local health services including A&E. 

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Earley & Woodley, Tahir Maher said: 

“Every year A&E delays keep getting worse under this Conservative government as hospitals in our area are starved of the funding they need, despite hard-working and over-stretched front-line workers.

“These appalling delays are leaving often vulnerable and elderly patients in our area waiting for hours on end in overcrowded A&Es. 

“It is simply unthinkable that Rishi Sunak is now choosing to slash funding for the NHS further, while appalling figures like this are emerging. This will just pour petrol on the flames of the NHS crisis.

“Reading deserves so much better than this Conservative government that is ignoring the suffering of patients and driving our health service into the ground. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to fix the NHS and ensure people can access the care they need.”