Richard Herring blasts A&E waiting times after son, 4, forced to wait for hours until 3am

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Stand-up comedian Richard Herring is questioning why Tory voters are not demanding a better NHS, after he endured a six-hour wait at A&E with his young son. And the comic says that anyone who does have to go to the accident and emergency department at a hospital is “gambling with their life”.

In a series of posts on Twitter he outlined to his 284,600 followers the situation when he had to take his four-year-old son to hospital recently.

He said that there were 200 people in the waiting room and even an elderly woman with cancer had to sit and wait for a long time.

The 55-year-old tweeted: “I’ve had two 6+ hour waits at A and E with my son in last 12 months.

“If you’re unlucky enough to have an A or an E you are gambling with your life. Why are we standing for this?”

And he asked: “If I was a Tory I’d be saying I have paid my taxes, where is my service. I don’t understand why anyone can back this system/govt that can only hurt them (don’t know how private medicine works, but surely they use the same ambulances? Or do they have a different number? 998?)”

The waiting time target for patients in A&E is currently set to four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge – with the aim to achieve this for 95 percent of patients.

It is not known why Mr Herring and his son needed to go to A&E but some commenters said he was lucky it was only a six-hour wait.

And others suggested that the reason he had to wait for that length of time was because other patients had more critical issues.

He said: “I saw people with v serious Es being made to wait. There were so many there that prioritising serious stuff meant little.

“But in any case, there shouldn’t be that kind of wait for anyone. If it was properly funded no one would have to wait that long and GPS could take workload.”

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We recognise the pressures the NHS is facing following the impact of the pandemic and are working tirelessly to ensure people get the care they need, backed by up to £14.1 billion additional funding for health and social care over the next two years. 

“This winter, the government has provided an extra £500 million to speed up hospital discharge and free up beds – and the NHS is creating the equivalent of at least 7,000 more beds to help reduce A&E waits and get ambulances back on the road.

“We’re supporting and growing the health and social care workforce through training and recruitment campaigns at home and abroad, and there are record numbers of staff working for the NHS, including 9,300 more nurses and almost 4,000 more doctors compared to September 2021.”