Opposition Day — [15th Allotted Day] — Accident and Emergency

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:31 pm on 18th December 2013.

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Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee Conservative, Bracknell 2:31 pm, 18th December 2013

On 27 December 1999, I and two other junior doctors embarked on a ward round at Wexham Park hospital in Slough. We had 72 patients to see that day, and it took us 13 hours to get round to them all. I say that because it was 14 years ago, yet I am hearing that this is the A and E crisis to end all crises. Every year, doctors in the national health service are worried and concerned about the pressures that the winter will bring to bear, and I do not think that this year is any different from 1999.

I want to try to be a bit challenging today and, in view of the motion, perhaps a bit counter-intuitive. We have too many casualty departments in this country. We should look at the mortality statistics—the likelihood of survival. I would say to Lisa Nandy that, if my grandfather went into hospital, I would want him to go into the one where he had the best chance of survival, not necessarily the one down the road. I do not know about her hospital, but a large number of hospitals in this country unfortunately do not deliver the best care or the best mortality statistics. We need to reflect on that without trying to score petty political points about a variety of different issues.