Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, in response to the publication of the Royal College of Physicians’ report ‘Hospitals on the edge? The time for action’, said:
“This report is right to raise serious questions about the sustainability of our hospitals. The Government should be doing all it can to relieve the pressure on hospitals, particularly A&E wards, but instead it has thrown the NHS into turmoil with an unnecessary re-organisation of the back office. Eyes have been taken off patient care as Ministers lost a grip on NHS finances and obsessed over structures instead of patients.
“Labour’s achievement in widening access to primary care is being undone. Since the election the Government has let almost 500 GP surgeries close their doors earlier at the same time as popular NHS Walk-in centres are closing in communities across the country. Now, at evenings and weekends, people are left with no alternative but to go to A&E.
“With one million extra visitors to A&E in the last year patients are left waiting longer and longer to be treated. Nurses are reporting a return of corridor ‘trolley waits’ and staff morale has suffered as the jobs of thousands of nurses have been axed.
“David Cameron needs to get an urgent grip on the chaos in the NHS. Patients and staff deserve better.”