A LOCAL MP has called on the government to do more to support Barnsley Hospital after it was revealed the number of patients waiting longer than four hours to be seen has risen by 400 per cent over the last four years.

Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock spoke in Parliament earlier this month, asking what the government is doing to support the Gawber Road site.

She said: “In the last four years alone, patients waiting more than four hours in Barnsley Hospital’s A and E department has risen by 400 per cent.

“So why, under this Conservative government, do my constituents have to wait so long for basic health care?

“The government might claim that they’re managing the NHS well, but the findings show that most key targets over the last seven years have never been met.

“This is certainly the case for too many people in Barnsley.”

The latest figures from NHS Digital sow that more than half of people who arrived at A and E in Barnsley were seen within four hours - missing the NHS recovery target significantly.

The NHS standard is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours.

However, the government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76 per cent of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.

NHS England figures show there were 8,780 visits to A and E at Barnsley Hospital last month.

Of them, 4,945 were seen within four hours - accounting for 56 per cent of arrivals.

A total of 715 patients waited for longer than four hours.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive at The King’s Fund, said: “Behind each of these figures is a person who is struggling to receive the timely care they need and deserve, despite the best efforts of staff.

“To end this cycle of poor performance, the government must make long-term decisions to put the service back on track year-round.

“This includes making health and care a more attractive place to build a career, bolstering out-of-hospital care such as primary, community and social care services, and helping people live healthier lives through a focus on preventing ill health.”

The overall number of attendances to A and E was a rise of two per cent on the 8,635 visits recorded during November, but five per cent lower than the 9,203 patients seen in December 2022.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “We have experienced the toughest possible start to 2024 with the longest set of strikes in our 75-year history, but we remain focused on doing all we can to make progress on the Covid backlog that has inevitably built up over the pandemic.”