Jamie Reed MP, Labour Shadow Health Minister, responding to comments made by the Health Secretary on the A&E crisis today, said:
“It's taken Labour to force this response, but it comes months too late and won't relieve the pressure on our hospitals now.
“Having wasted weeks trying to blame GPs for the crisis in A&E, the Government has today finally admitted that their huge cuts to local authority budgets for elderly care have been a major cause of the crisis. They should apologise.
“David Cameron has cut billions from local authority budgets that pay for social care, and this is hitting the NHS hard. Older people are being left without the care they need at home, meaning more are having to be admitted to hospital, while many others are getting stuck in hospital beds at the end of their treatment because the help isn’t there at home.
“That is why Labour has said we would invest £1.2 billion of the NHS underspend, which Jeremy Hunt has handed back to the Treasury, over the next two years to ease the crisis in social care tackling a root cause of the pressure on A&E. For older people this could make a huge difference by enabling them to stay in their own homes for longer and providing the support they need to return home after hospital.
“By contrast, the Government have no answer. Faced with a crisis, Ministers have decided to re-announce an old review that will take almost another year to report.
"The crisis in A&E proves that you can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.”<div>