NHS Winter Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:08 pm on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health 1:08 pm, 10th January 2018

I am not giving way because we are pressed for time.

The fact that makes this winter crisis even more serious than anything that has gone before is not just the cuts to social care and to the community care sector, nor is it the underfunding of the NHS; it is that the crisis takes place against the backdrop of some of the most serious and far-reaching neglect of health perpetrated on the people of this country for more than century.

Sir Michael Marmot, a recognised authority on public health, has warned that this country has, since 2010, stalled in the task of improving the life expectancy of our population and that differences in life expectancy between the poorest areas in the country and the better off have widened in recent years. This is what happens with austerity and cuts. This is what happens when the Government fail to invest in housing and the insulation of our housing stock. This is what happens when the Government allow fuel poverty to increase and oversee falling real incomes, benefit cuts for the poorest and rising child poverty. The shocking consequence is that the number of hospital beds in England taken up by patients being treated for malnutrition has doubled since 2010. Is not that a shame? Is not that a disgrace?