May I begin by disagreeing profoundly with Margaret Greenwood? As a health professional and as a doctor who has worked in the health service for 15 to 20 years, spending more than two hours listening to Opposition Members putting negative after negative on the NHS has been profoundly taxing, and it has been hard for me to remain in my seat.
I worked in the NHS in A&E in the Christmas and new year period. Yes, I saw people waiting much longer than we would like. I also saw a seriously injured child who came in and received the very best treatment. People and equipment were available, and all the necessary hospital staff were available for his treatment. At times there were a dozen people around his bed, and I am pleased that we could give him the treatment that he needed to survive. We need to get away from always picking out the negative points. We must remember that more people are being treated and survive and that they are real, genuine people who go on to live long, healthy lives and are really pleased with the NHS treatment that they receive from people such as me and the millions of NHS staff working over Christmas and on new year’s day.
We have heard a lot of negatives from the Opposition, but we should look at what we can do to improve. I did not hear anything from the shadow Secretary of State about what he was going to do to make things better if he was in charge.