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28 Jan 2015
The NHS has been put under unprecedented levels of pressure thanks to the failings of the Government and the problems in A&Es across the country demonstrate the scale of the crisis we face.
Attendances at hospital A&E departments increased by 600,000 in the first four years of this Government and last week it was revealed that only seven out of 140 hospital A&Es hit the target to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours.
The truth is that this crisis in A&E has its roots in the Government’s cuts to adult social care, the abolition of NHS Direct, the closure of almost one in four walk-in centres and its disastrous decision to throw the NHS into the chaos of reorganisation.
Last week in Parliament I voted to take action to save our NHS and deal with the A&E crisis. Unfortunately the vote was lost as the Prime Minister refuses to take any responsibility or even acknowledge that his government has caused a crisis in the NHS.
I would like to see the NHS rescued with a £2.5 billion a year Time to Care Fund to fund new staff, including 20,000 more nurses. We need to tackle the current A&E crisis by helping families see a GP, getting more nurses answering calls to NHS 111, halting the closure of walk-in centres, tackling failing social care and recruiting former nurses back into practice.