About 23,000 people died in accident and emergency departments last year, according to an estimate by Labour based on Freedom of Information requests to every NHS trust in England.
Half of the trusts responded to the party’s requests and, based on that information, it calculated that just over 23,000 people had died – an increase of more than 20% on 2021, and nearly 40% on 2020.
The increase in deaths corresponds with a sharp rise in NHS waiting times, as hospitals struggle with high demand and a lack of resources after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said: “People turning to the NHS in an emergency should know they will be seen and treated before it’s too late. The Conservatives’ failure over 13 years to properly staff or reform the NHS has a cost in lives.”
Maria Caulfield, the health minister, defended the government’s record, however, saying: “We are delivering a record number of tests, speeding up discharge from hospitals, and cutting waiting lists as we also work to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, and stop the boats.”
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Source: The Guardian, 19 May 2023