489 people died in Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust last year while waiting for care on the NHS, as patients face record waiting times.
Freedom of information requests have revealed that record numbers of people are passing away having never received the treatment they were waiting for.
Latest data shows that around 121,000 people died across England last year while still waiting for NHS care, double the number of people who died on waiting lists in 2017/18, when the figure stood at around 60,000. The figures are also higher than in 2021, when the country was still in the midst of the Covid pandemic.
The NHS constitution states that patients should not wait more than 18 weeks for treatment, but almost half of patients in England today wait longer than that to receive healthcare. At Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust alone, 97 people died having been waiting for treatment for longer than 18 weeks.
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “It’s awful to think that almost 500 patients in Rotherham spent their final months in pain and agony waiting for treatment that never arrived.
“Rishi Sunak promised to cut NHS waiting lists, but there are 600,000 more patients waiting for NHS care today than when he became Prime Minister.
“The basic promise of the NHS – that it will be there for us when we need it – has been broken. The longer the Conservatives are in office, the longer patients will wait.
“Only Labour can rescue the NHS from this crisis and restore it to good health. We will train the staff needed to treat patients on time again, and reform the service to make it fit for the future.”
The public now face the longest waiting lists in NHS history, with a record 7.6 million people waiting for treatment. There are currently 30,030 patients on the waiting list for treatment at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.