With David Cameron on a trip to China, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stood in for his Conservative colleague.
In the last 12 months, a million people have waited more than four hours in A&E, with the number of patients treated in A&E rocketing by 211,000 a year under David Cameron. The Government claims this has nothing to do with the NHS Direct helpline being scrapped, the closure of 53 NHS walk-in clinics, and the end of the guarantee of a GP’s appointment within 48 hours.
In the House of Commons, Andrew Gwynne asked:
“Figures from the NHS show that an additional 600,000 people used A&E last winter, an increase of 11% since 2010; and this winter it is predicted to get much worse. Why?”
Nick Clegg refused to address the question, instead opting to ignore the situation being forced on thousands in Tameside and Stockport every year.
Following Prime Minister’s Questions, Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Cameron has created this crisis by systematically dismantling alternatives to A&E. A quarter of walk-in centres have been closed, NHS Direct has been scrapped and funding for elderly care has been slashed.
“To make matters worse, this Government has scrapped the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours and scrapped Labour’s scheme for GP evening and weekend opening, taking us backwards from the seven-day NHS we need.
“Today, Cameron’s Lib Dem lackey refused to address my question, showing nothing but contempt for the plight of the thousands who can see the chaos his Government has forced on A&E departments across the country.
“You simply can’t trust David Cameron with the NHS.”