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Labour calls for action on the A&E crisis

Daily Politics 7th June 2013 2We’ve recently had real problems in our local A&E department. Over the past couple of months, only 79% of patients were seen in 4 hours, compared to the Government’s new lower target of 95%.

Leicester’s Clinical Commissioning Group tells me these delays have been caused by NHS staff shortages, cuts to social care services which help keep older people living at home, and problems with the way the Royal’s Emergency Department is organised.

Nationally, major A&Es in England have missed the 4 hour target for 34 of the last 37 weeks. A&E and trolley waits are the highest for 9 years, and the number of cancelled operations is the highest in a decade.

As well as cuts to nurses and social care, A&Es are also under increased pressure as a result of closures of NHS Walk-In Centres and problems with the new NHs 111 helpline.

Labour has been warning about the growing pressure on A&E units since January. We’ve put forward a 5-point rescue plan and called an emergency Opposition Day debate in Parliament on this issue. You can read the transcript of the debate here.

I also spoke about this issue on the Daily Politics programme on Friday 7th June here (my interview starts 38 minutes into the programme).