NHS Winter Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:09 pm on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care) 2:09 pm, 10th January 2018

Like others across the House, I thank all staff in all four UK systems, who, as the Secretary of State has said, have gone above and beyond the call of duty to focus on their patients, and I do not think any debate we have in here is intended to upset or insult any of them.

Before Mr Dunne perhaps leaves the Chamber, I want to thank him for his service as a Minister of State for Health, whom I often met across the Chamber, but I also want to correct a comment he made in answer to my question on Monday. He claimed that the number of patients waiting longer than 12 hours in A&E in England was half the level of that in Scotland.

Naturally, I would have expected the Minister to know all the stats and what they mean: in England data are only published for the percentage of patients who meet, or do not meet, the four-hour target. There is no publication of data on eight hours or 12 hours. The clock restarts for patients who require admissions, and that is defined as from the decision to admit until they get a bed and is known as trolley waits. So 48,000 patients waited over four hours on a trolley after their four-hour wait in A&E to get a bed, and the 109 he was referring to had waited over 12 hours on a trolley for a bed after the four or five hours they had waited in A&E. Therefore, it was utterly incorrect to compare that with the Scottish data, where we have a single clock from when the patient starts right through until they get to where they need to go. I simply want to clarify that while the hon. Gentleman is in the Chamber.