National Health Service

Part of Opposition Day — [14th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 21st January 2015.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health 1:33 pm, 21st January 2015

It is my responsibility to hold the Government to account on behalf of patients in England for what is happening in England now. That is my job, and I will make no apologies to the right hon. Gentleman or anybody else for doing it.

The response times in the ambulance service are not good enough, nor is the plan to introduce an experiment in the middle of winter, but the problems are not confined to the ambulance service. We need, too, to relieve the pressure on hospitals. Last week just seven out of 140 hospital A and E departments in England met the Secretary of State’s lowered A and E target. Hospital staff are trying their best, but it is as if the Government have simply given up on it. If that is so, that means that they are giving up on the thousands of people waiting hours to be seen. What is his plan to stop the decline and bring A and E back up to acceptable standards? It is time he told us.