Labour's prospective MP for Falmouth and Truro has criticised the Tories after the publication of the latest record NHS Waiting Lists figures published today.

The NHS waiting list in England has hit a new record high, with 7.7 million people – around one in seven – waiting for treatment, data shows -  48,096 of those on the waiting list are at Royal Cornwall Hospitals' Trust according to Labour’s candidate for Truro and Falmouth, Jayne Kirkham.

“The longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer people in Cornwall will wait for care - our local public services are on their knees," she said. "Over 48,000 are stuck on the waiting list at RCHT. That means pain, anxiety and lives put on hold.

"Only 36% of the people waiting for orthopaedic treatment in Cornwall are treated within 18 weeks. I meet so many people who are unable to walk or work because they are waiting for hip or knee operations.

"Labour has a plan to get our NHS back on its feet. We would make building an NHS fit for the future a central mission of the next Labour Government, starting with one of the greatest workforce expansions our health service has ever seen – funded by scrapping the non-dom status.”

Royal Cornwall Hospitals' Trust has been asked for a response.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made cutting waiting lists one of his priorities for 2023, pledging in January that “lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly”.

Speaking on Thursday, he told the BBC that ongoing strikes by NHS staff were threatening the target and acknowledged that his promise to cut waiting lists could be missed.

He said: “Obviously that is challenging, with industrial action, there’s no two ways about it.

“We were making very good progress before industrial action.”

Asked if he would miss his goal he said: “With industrial action it is very hard to continue to meet these targets.”

But he added “we are making very good progress despite industrial action”.

The new data shows 389,952 people in England had been waiting more than 52 weeks to start routine hospital treatment at the end of July, up from 383,083 at the end of June.

Some 7,289 people in England are also estimated to have been waiting more than 18 months to start routine hospital treatment at the end of July, up from 7,177 at the end of June.

When it comes to cancer, the picture is mixed, with a rise in the number of urgent cancer referrals made by GPs to 263,696 in July, up 1% on 261,006 in June and up 10% year-on-year from 239,739 in July 2022.


Cornwall spots named among couples' most romantic places to honeymoon

The proportion of cancer patients who saw a specialist within two weeks of being referred urgently by their GP fell from 80.5% in June to 77.5% in July, remaining below the target of 93%.

The number of patients waiting longer than 62 days since an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer was down slightly, the data further showed.

Some 62.6% of cancer patients who had their first treatment in July after an urgent GP referral had waited less than two months, up from 59.2% in June.

The target is 85% and will remain one of the key cancer measures following the streamlining of performance standards in October.

Meanwhile, 74.1% of patients urgently referred for suspected cancer were diagnosed or had cancer ruled out within 28 days, up from 73.5% the previous month.

The target is 75% and this will also remain one of the performance standards beyond October.