Labour forces Commons vote on extra cash for NHS amid “worst winter crisis” ever

10th January, 2018 8:48 am

Labour will today force a Commons vote on what it describes as the “worst winter crisis” ever recorded in the NHS.

Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, will call on the Tories to raise cash limits in order to reschedule tens of thousands of cancelled operations.

The motion, to be debated this afternoon, comes after Theresa May was forced to abandon efforts to move Jeremy Hunt to the business department and instead added the words “and social care” to his title as health secretary – even though he had responsibility for this area already.

Today Ashworth said patients were bearing the brunt of an “appalling winter crisis” as temperatures fall.

The debate comes as Labour published figures showing 55,000 non-urgent operations had been postponed until the end of January.

It also said that some 14,000 hospital beds had been closed since the coalition first took power in 2010.

“Patients and staff have once again been let down this winter by a government in disarray, failing to sufficiently prepare for the predictable spike in demand as the cold snap hits,” Ashworth said.

“Thousands of patients are now bearing the brunt for this appalling winter crisis, with elective operations being deferred until the end of January for the first time ever. We are today calling on Theresa May to urgently fund the health service to reschedule these operations as soon as possible.

“Instead of reshuffling her government and offering fancier titles to her secretary of state, Theresa May must get an urgent grip of this escalating crisis.”

The wording of Labour’s motion – also signed by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell – calls on the government to report back by February 1 on what steps it is taking to comply with the resolution, published below.

Labour’s resolution: “That this House expresses concern at the effect on patient care of the closure of 14,000 hospital beds since 2010; records its alarm at there being vacancies for 100,000 posts across the NHS; regrets the decision of the government to reduce social care funding since 2010; notes that hospital trusts have been compelled to delay elective operations because of the government’s failure to allocate adequate resources to the NHS; condemns the privatisation of community health services and calls on the government to increase cash limits for the current year to enable hospitals to resume a full service to the public, including rescheduling elective operations, and to report to the House by oral statement and written report before 1 February 2018 on what steps it is taking to comply with this resolution.”

 

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