I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for taking the opportunity to clarify the situation for the House. Perhaps he should have done so on Monday. I do not know, but he may well still have been in place as a Health Minister if he had said that on Monday.
There have been huge pressures on the North East Ambulance Service, because of which it has been asking some patients, where appropriate, if they have alternative transport options, such as a family member. The East of England Ambulance Service has said that some patients were being sent taxis to get them to hospital, with paramedics stuck in ambulances queuing at hospitals for more than 500 hours in the past four days. Of course, clinicians have spoken out. Richard Fawcett of the University Hospitals of North Midlands warned that his hospital had
“run out of corridor space”.
He also felt compelled to apologise for, in his words, the “third world conditions”.