Hospitals will share waiting lists under Labor plans for faster care

Hospitals would have to share waiting lists and pool resources under Labour’s plans to cut waiting times by handling up to 40,000 extra NHS appointments a week.

The party has announced that patients will be offered appointments at nearby hospitals, rather than necessarily at their local hospital, which would allow people to receive faster treatment. Hospital staff and resources would be pooled across a region and perform evening and weekend operations.

Labor has put a spotlight on staff at Guys and St Thomas’s in south London using a high-intensity theater roster to carry out more procedures with greater efficiency, a system that will see the number of anaesthetics, surgical and theater staff increased increases to minimize the turnaround time between cases.

By using two theaters simultaneously, surgeons can operate simultaneously while their next patient is being prepared and anesthetized.

While on a normal workday they might perform three knee surgeries on patients, when they hit the charts they can perform 12.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: “Fourteen years of Conservative neglect has led to waiting lists tripling and despite Rishi Sunak’s promise they are still rising.

“Only Labor has a plan to reform our NHS, making hospitals work together with shared waiting lists and staff, to get patients treated on time again.”

The charts focus on one type of procedure at a time and take place on weekends. However, Labor research shows that more than half of English hospitals close their operating theaters at weekends.

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According to a freedom of information request the party made last year, hospitals performed an average of 795 procedures on weekdays, but only 176 on Saturdays or Sundays.

Streeting added: “We will learn from the great innovations already happening in healthcare, and bring the best of the NHS to the rest of the NHS.

“In doing so, Labor will reduce waiting times on the NHS with an extra 40,000 evening and weekend appointments a week, paid for by tackling tax evaders and non-doms loopholes.”

The party has pledged to spend £1.1 billion on paying staff extra for out-of-hours work to carry out the promised 40,000 weekly operations, scans or appointments.