Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the news that NHS Direct wants to end 111 phone service contracts, said: 

"This is a mess of Ministers' own making. Jeremy Hunt was warned that this would happen but he chose to plough on regardless.

"It's not good enough Jeremy Hunt hiding behind his officials. He must take responsibility and put a plan in place to ensure a safe and sustainable service in all parts of England.

"The destruction of NHS Direct, a trusted, national service, is one of the worst acts of vandalism by this Government. It has been broken up into 46 cut-price contracts. Computers have replaced nurses and too often the computer says 'go to A&E'.

"David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt need to act urgently, get back in to the office today and put in place a plan to ensure the continuity of patient care.

"The NHS 111 model they have introduced is fundamentally flawed. It has led to unsustainable pressure on A&E departments. Ministers must go back to the drawing board and re-instate a national, nurse-led providing reliable advice in all parts of the country."

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