NHS Winter Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 1:42 pm, 10th January 2018

I will make some progress and then give way further.

Let us look at those preparations. We have put £1 billion into the social care system. The biggest lesson from last year was that pressure in the social care system was making it difficult for hospitals to discharge. What has been the result of that investment? Combined with the extra £337 million in the Budget, it has freed up 1,100 hospital beds by reducing the number of delayed transfers of care. In total, 2,700 additional acute beds have been commissioned since November. The shadow Health Secretary told The Independent:

“It is completely unacceptable that the 85% bed occupancy target…has been missed”.

What was bed occupancy on Christmas eve? It was 84.2%, so this had a real impact.