Labour vows to send teams into hospitals to set up evening and weekend clinics

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to tell hospitals from day one of a Labour government to set up evening and weekend clinics to cut NHS waiting lists.

The Labour leader told the Mirror that “crack teams” who are already running out-of-hours programmes across the country will help set up the clinics in the rest of the health service.

If it wins the General Election, Labour will initially focus on reducing treatment backlogs, which currently stand at 7.54 million.

The party claims the figure could rise to 10 million if the Conservatives are in office for another five years.

Labour has vowed to create an additional 40,000 appointments, scans and operations each week during evenings and weekends.

It would also double the numbers of scanners in a bid to diagnose patients earlier.

Sir Keir said he was inspired by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, where staff had high-intensity theatre lists on weekends up and running within six weeks.

He said: “It was NHS staff working in the hospital I can see from my office in Parliament who led the way on this new model.

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(PA Graphics)

“Labour will take the best of the NHS to the rest of the NHS, so patients in every part of the country can be treated on time.

“The NHS is personal to me. It runs through my family. That’s why I’m utterly committed to reforming this service, getting the NHS back on its feet, and making it fit for the future.”

Sir Keir and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting will detail plans to tackle the NHS backlog on a visit to the West Midlands on Wednesday.