New figures from the NHS show that almost 40 000 people are stuck waiting for NHS treatment across Rotherham and Barnsley.

At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of Tory health cuts, there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, then a record high. The waiting list now stands at 6.6 million. And the national standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016 – a full four years before covid hit.

There are 22 225 people on waiting lists for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, this is 1 in 12 people across the borough. There are 17 572 at Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust, meaning 1 in 14 are on the waiting list. Across Rotherham and Barnsley, this is a combined total of 39 797 people stuck on the NHS waiting list.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “The longer the Tories are in Government, the longer people will wait for NHS services often in pain and distress.

“Local health care staff across Rotherham and Barnsley worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. They really were our national heroes but they’re still stretched like never before.

“Over a decade of Conservative cuts have left the NHS “wanting and inadequate” when the covid pandemic hit and patients now find themselves waiting too long as a result.

“Labour will rebuild our NHS with the staff, equipment and modern technology needed to treat patients on time again.”

The NHS went into the latest wave of Covid infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched.

Whilst the Conservative Government are too busy fighting each other in their party leadership battle, people are stuck waiting on services and the Tories have no plan to fix these problems and no plan to recruit the NHS staff needed.