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IPPR reacts to Labour’s plans to cut NHS waiting lists

Chris Thomas, head of IPPR’s cross-party Commission on Health and Prosperity reacting to Labour’s announcement of their plans to cut NHS waiting lists

“We’re delighted to see the Labour Party adopt IPPR’s proposal of a weekend and evening NHS service to tackle record long waiting lists and support early diagnosis. Soaring waiting lists are a dual crisis for our health and our economy. We need to go much further and faster in meeting the sheer scale of the NHS backlog in England – IPPR research has shown that making use of evenings and weekends will make a significant difference. 

“Getting through the backlog in five years will be no easy feat – and it will take significant, on-going political commitment and investment. But it is achievable, and if successful, would improve public health and revitalise our economy.” 

Dr Parth Patel is available for interview 


  1. IPPR first recommended establishing new weekend NHS elective care services and pooled ‘single queue’ waiting lists across nearby hospitals in April 2023 in this report: This research was subsequently cited when the Labour party first adopted these policies in October 2023. 
  2. IPPR’s analysis with LCP found that reducing hospital waiting lists could provide significant benefit to the economy.
  3. IPPR (the Institute for Public Policy Research) is an independent charity working towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous society. We are researchers, communicators, and policy experts creating tangible progressive change, and turning bold ideas into common sense realities. Working across the UK, IPPR, IPPR North, and IPPR Scotland are deeply connected to the people of our nations and regions, and the issues our communities face. We have helped shape national conversations and progressive policy change for more than 30 years. From making the early case for the minimum wage and tackling regional inequality, to proposing a windfall tax on energy companies, IPPR’s research and policy work has put forward practical solutions for the crises facing society.

Labour vows to clear 18-week-plus NHS waiting lists ...

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