Health and Social Care Budgets — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee, Chair, Public Accounts Committee 9:30 am, 14th March 2017

The hon. Gentleman rightly highlights that the NHS is not new to challenges in dealing with capital projects. One of our concerns about taking out capital is that NHS buildings and equipment will deteriorate, costing more in the end. That is not good value for money, which is what my Committee considers. We should all be watching the situation. The consequences might not be apparent today, but they will become so as time goes on, and we as parliamentarians need to keep a close eye on what is happening in our local area. I am glad that the hon. Gentleman is doing so.

I will finish, as I am aware that an awful lot of Members want to speak. We must not forget that the situation has an impact on patients. For instance, the target for accident and emergency waiting times is 95%, but actual performance is just under 87%. Diagnostic waiting times have risen from 1% to 1.68%, and referral to treatment within 18 weeks has not reached its 92% target; it is just under 90%, at 89.41%. The number of people waiting more than 52 weeks for referral to treatment is 1,220. Those are just some of the figures demonstrating the impact of how NHS and social care finances are being managed and what is happening to patient outcomes.