Jamie Reed MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, in response to the Health Secretary’s comments today on staff numbers, said:
“At last the Health Secretary has been forced to admit what we and others, including the CQC, have been telling him for months: that too many hospitals are inadequately staffed and community care services have been slashed to the bone. Over 4,000 nursing posts have been cut from the NHS since David Cameron came to power. This A&E crisis is a mess of David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt’s own making.
“But it takes years to train GPs and nurses and he needs to urgently address the immediate crisis in A&E. He has wasted weeks casting around for scapegoats and blaming GPs instead of taking control and sorting out the A&E crisis his Government have created.
“The collapse of social care, caused by this Government's deep cuts, is a major cause of the crisis in A&E, with the home-care and support simply not available to help keep older people in their homes or allow them to be discharged from hospital, leaving hospital beds full. He needs to sort out the failing 111 helpline service; stop the widespread closure of NHS walk-in centres we have seen under this government and personally review all planned A&E closures.
“It’s about time David Cameron and his hapless Health Secretary stopped spinning and got a grip.”