Labour lays into Tory NHS record with hard-hitting social media blitz

Staff on an NHS hospital ward at Ealing Hospital (PA) (PA Wire)
Staff on an NHS hospital ward at Ealing Hospital (PA) (PA Wire)

Labour has taken Rishi Sunak’s government to task in a new social media campaign focusing on the NHS, waiting lists and cancer treatment being at “breaking point” under the Conservatives.

The video posted on X on Saturday shows scenes from a crowded hospital as patients wait to be seen, while text appears with stats of waiting lists for the NHS under Rishi Sunak’s government.

A member of staff then says: “We’re at breaking point. It can’t carry on.

“The queues at the corridor and the situation that the patients are in and the department’s in, it’s unsafe.”

Text in the video then reads: “Under the Conservatives, our NHS is at breaking point. And if they are given five more years in power, waiting lists are predicted to hit 10 million.”

It comes as both Labour and the Lib Dems have set out their pledges to cut cancer waiting times if either or both are able to form a government after the General Election on 4 July.

Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, who recently received treatment for kidney cancer, said, “thousands of patients have waited too long for tests, scans and treatment”.

The Conservatives’ Health Secretary Victoria Atkins acknowledged there is “more to do” to improve cancer detection rates.

Labour has claimed 700,000 cancer patients will wait too long for treatment if the Conservatives are given another five years” in government.

The party said its plan to “catch cancer” involved delivering an extra 40,000 appointments, tests and scans a week at evenings and weekends, doubling the number of CT and MRI scanners, with new AI-enabled scanners, and the biggest expansion of NHS staff in history.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting met patients and staff at Bassetlaw Hospital in Nottinghamshire this week (PA Wire)
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting met patients and staff at Bassetlaw Hospital in Nottinghamshire this week (PA Wire)

The shadow health secretary said: “Having gone through treatment for kidney cancer, I know that the earlier cancer is caught, the better chance of survival.

“Since the Conservatives took office in 2010, hundreds of thousands of patients have waited too long for tests, scans and treatment.

“If the Conservatives are given another five years, nothing will change, the crisis in cancer care will continue and hundreds of thousands more cancer patients will wait too long.

“Labour’s fully-funded and fully-costed plan will catch cancer on time, diagnosing earlier and treating it faster to save lives. We will also prevent cancer in the first place, passing a progressive ban on tobacco so young people today are even less likely to smoke than they are to vote Tory.”

Ms Atkins said cancer detection rates “continue to improve” and added: “We know there is more to do which is why we have recruited record numbers of doctors and nurses and will deliver 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors through our long-term NHS workforce plan and opened 160 community diagnostic centres and will deliver 50 more, delivering millions for scans, tests and checks every year to speed up results and start treatment more quickly.

“Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have a clear plan and will take the bold action needed to improve cancer detection rates and save lives, building a brighter future for them and their families.”