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MP warns of winter NHS crisis.

Alex Sobel MP for Leeds North West warns of the massive strain once again being placed on the NHS services due to rising numbers of Covid and seasonal illnesses and that we are not yet in the winter months.

Over the last 7 day period the average number of Covid cases in England per 100,000 is 400, however in Otley that number is now at 648.7 and a weekly rise of 7.6% admitted to hospitals in Leeds.

Alex said “Over the last few weeks I have heard from numerous constituents who are struggling to get GP appointments. We also saw waiting times recently at Leeds General Infirmary A&E department of 8 hours plus, with people queuing outside with a 2 hour wait to get booked in and inside.”

He went on to say “We know that the NHS services have severe under-funding problems as well as staffing shortages, many people are already waiting over a year for routine operations and outpatient appointments”

He pointed out “I have huge respect for everyone employed in our NHS, they have been the ones truly on the front line during the pandemic and remain so. Unfortunately, after 10 years of cuts from the Government, the effects on staff levels due to Brexit and the understandable choice of many within the service to retire or leave following the worse times during last year, we now face vast shortages of staff and funding putting our most precious service under a strain it has never seen before”

Mr Sobel went on to say “The Government lifted the requirements in England to wear face masks earlier this year in shops and public enclosed places. We have seen the return of mass crowds to football matches and concert arenas. Whilst I am pleased to see fans returning, I am sceptical around there being no requirements to social distance or wear masks.”

In comparison we are now seeing the difference between the effects of this action and other Countries such as France who have not relaxed their rules on face masks and have much lower covid rates.

England now has the highest daily rates of Covid in Europe, with the latest figure being 49,156, with the R Rate now at 0.9-1.1.

Alex explained “Add on top of this the usual winter illnesses, such as flu combined with rising hospitalisation of covid cases, a huge backlog on NHS Services and staffing shortages and we will see another Winter of crisis”

He said “Whilst people are free to make their own choices regarding vaccines and face masks I am not always sure that the correct information regarding the current covid situation is being communicated properly to the public.

The rise in Covid cases puts our NHS under so much pressure and whilst people themselves may not have covid they may need the NHS for other reasons and find delays in their treatment or gaining access to the services”

“I think it’s important that the bigger picture, the knock-on effect if you like is understood by everyone and if we want a health service that is free on entry for all we must protect it by taking sensible precautions and the Government must provide the full necessary funding required”


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