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Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, speaking ahead of the emergency Commons debate on A&E today, said:

“Labour has been warning the Government about the crisis in A&E departments since the start of the year.

“Ministers have diverted attention away from the real causes of this crisis and failed to address them. It has been left to Labour to show the leadership that the NHS desperately needs.

“Labour has called today’s urgent debate to shock the Government out of its complacency. We have put forward an A&E rescue plan that addresses cuts to social care services, safe staffing levels, Walk-in centre and A&E closures and the disastrous NHS 111 advice line – Ministers should accept it. Labour would use £1.2 billion from the NHS ‘underspend’ – that Jeremy Hunt handed back to the Treasury – for health and social care services to support elderly people at home.

“The A&E crisis is a mess of their making. David Cameron is inflicting a toxic mix of budget cuts and a top-down NHS re-organisation that nobody voted for. The crisis in A&E proves that you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

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