Opposition Day — [3rd Allotted Day]
Andrew Murrison (Shadow Minister, Defence; Westbury, Conservative)
Does my hon. Friend share my concern about the pressure that this problem can place on casualty departments? They are likely to receive default patients, as it were, who have failed to get adequate primary care services because of the difficulties with out-of-hours cover. They are also likely to have patients referred to them by locums who are not as familiar with local health care facilities as the local GPs. That is placing a great burden on many of our casualty departments, and they are facing a particular problem with elderly, vulnerable and chronically ill people, who really should not be sent to acute hospitals at all, if that can be avoided.