North Shropshire's Lib Dem MP Helen Morgan has criticised the Government once more over the 'creaking' state of the NHS, saying patients across Shropshire are being 'failed' by the system.
Shropshire is one of 10 regions which NHS England has flagged for concern due to its lengthy ambulance handover delays, with a "system failure" implying a complete collapse in social care capacity that leaves hospitals unable to admit or discharge patients.
Now, Mrs Morgan has highlighted the barriers many people in Market Drayton are currently facing, with some being forced to 'miss out' entirely because of the lack of public transport.
She said: “NHS staff have been warning us all about the crisis in healthcare for some time now and many patients in Shropshire would argue they have already been failed by the system – or more specifically by the Conservative Government.
“The NHS is already creaking so loudly that the prospect of winter and a rise in Covid cases is genuinely scary.
“Every week people in Market Drayton and across North Shropshire are waiting hours and hours for an ambulance to arrive – and this includes stroke and heart attack patients.
“Routine X-rays in Shrewsbury or Telford hospital have turnaround times of around eight months and the mobile breast cancer screening unit has moved from Drayton to Telford.
“This is not the fault of hardworking nurses, doctors and paramedics in Shropshire but is due to more than a decade of neglect by the Conservatives, which has seen a revolving door of health secretaries repeatedly fail to get a grip on the situation.
“Easy access to healthcare is crucial because early diagnosis is often key for treatment to be effective. And yet people in Drayton are forced to climb over barrier after barrier to get the care they need."
She added: “Getting a GP or hospital appointment is hard enough and then if you do manage to get booked in it is almost impossible to get there without a car because public transport is so poor in Drayton.
“People here are repeatedly forced to miss out because they happen to live in a rural area.
"Unfortunately this is unlikely to change while we have a Prime Minister who is too preoccupied with boosting bankers’ bonuses to tackle the true issues troubling the country.”
With other areas, including Birmingham, Worcester and Stoke-on-Trent, also at risk of seeing a "system failure" this year, Market Drayton's neighbouring healthcare services could also see closures, it has been warned.