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 progress and then take a final set of interventions.

The heart of the shadow Health Secretary’s case is that winter pressures are caused by political decisions, not operational issues. Let us put aside the difficult winters that Labour had in 1999, 2008 and 2009, but if he is to drag politics into this, he cannot first say that this is the fault of politicians in England and then totally gloss over the responsibility of politicians in Wales, which the Royal College of Emergency Medicine says is “a battlefield” where

“patient safety is being compromised daily” and the situation

“is unsafe, undignified and distressing for patients and their family members.”

I simply ask the shadow Health Secretary this: if it is the Government’s fault that one in nine A&E patients waits too long here in England, whose fault is it that one in six does in Wales? Whose fault is it that people in Wales are nine times more likely to wait too long for test results?