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

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, on today's publication of Dr Foster's Good Hospital Guide, said:

"This is a clear warning of an NHS showing increasing signs of distress and struggling to cope. Hospitals are being hit from all sides and struggling to function safely.

"Savage cuts to council care budgets are making it harder for hospitals to discharge patients, which results in pressure on beds backing up through A&E. It is why we hear stories all over England of ambulances queuing outside A&E departments unable to hand over patients.

"Separately, we are seeing unsafe cuts to the NHS front-line. Over 7000 nursing jobs have been lost since the Election, with 1000 in the last month alone. Unacceptable risks are being taken with patient care as the NHS struggles with the toxic combination of reorganisation and real-terms cuts.

"This is a dangerous situation of the Government's own making and it can't continue complacently blaming the NHS. Ministers must take urgent action to support NHS front-line and ensure patient safety over the coming winter."

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