NHS Winter Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:11 pm, 10th January 2018

I will not give way; the hon. Lady has had her say.

My hon. Friend Andrew Selous spoke about leadership, and he was absolutely right. He knows the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has been ably led by Dame Pauline Philip. She has achieved 98% of patients meeting the four-hour target. That is the kind of leadership that can be achieved, which is why Dame Pauline was brought in to NHS England to help with our national response to winter pressures.

My hon. Friend Dr Murrison said that this was all about outcomes and that, on cancer, we do not do well. We have had the best cancer outcomes ever in our country, but I agree that our ambition for the long term needs to be even better and that we need to aim higher. His point on a royal commission is noted.

My hon. Friend John Howell spoke about the out-of-hospital care work that Henley hospital is doing. I thank him very much for his invitation. My ministerial colleagues also heard what he had to say, and it was good to hear about the cross-party working that is going on in Oxfordshire. My hon. Friend Damien Moore, a new Member of the House, talked about joined-up care and continuous improvement. He reminded us that without a strong economy there is no strong NHS. This is not the Government’s money; it is the public’s money. We need to spend it well, and I think we are doing so.

My hon. Friend Simon Hoare spoke about community pharmacies, a subject close to my heart. They play a key part, and better integration of them within the NHS is part of the prevention and primary care agenda. I completely agree with the points that he made. My hon. Friend Rebecca Pow spoke about the A&E hub at Musgrove Park hospital. That sounds very interesting indeed, and the new Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend Stephen Barclay, was also interested to hear what she had to say. We would like to come and see it, and we will take her up on her invitation.

Finally, I welcome back my hon. Friend Andrea Jenkyns and congratulate her on the birth of Clifford. She spoke very well, as always, about the integration of health and social care, saying that it can only make sense and will only serve to make the preparations for next winter better.

I hope to end this debate on a note on which both sides of the House can agree. We are all truly thankful for the extraordinary dedication of NHS staff in caring for their patients—our constituents—during this extremely challenging time. As ever, they are doing a brilliant job.

Question put and agreed to.


That this House
expresses concern at the effect on patient care of the closure of 14,000 hospital beds since 2010;
records its alarm at there being vacancies for 100,000 posts across the NHS;
regrets the decision of the Government to reduce social care funding since 2010;
notes that hospital trusts have been compelled by NHS England to delay elective operations because of the Government’s failure to allocate adequate to the NHS;
condemns the privatisation of community health services;
and calls on the Government to increase cash limits for the current year to enable hospitals to resume a full service to the public, including rescheduling elective operations, and to report to the House by Oral Statement and written report before 1 February 2018 on what steps it is taking to comply with this resolution.