In response to 38 degrees e mails on A and E targets (14 February 2020)

 

The Prime Minister recently announced the Government’s intention to provide the NHS with an additional £33.9 billion by 2023/24; this is the largest, longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS. This landmark investment to help secure the long term future of our NHS is extremely welcome, and I hope you agree it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to properly funding our NHS and public services: health is the Government's top priority.

Alongside this, the NHS was asked to undertake a clinical review of standards relating to waiting times. This must be clinically led to enable best, and safest, delivery of care for patients. I understand that NHS England has now prepared proposals, covering waiting times across the service, including mental health, cancer, and A&E. 

A&E targets were missed in a number of areas of the country in December, which is why I support steps being taken by the Government and NHS to recruit 50,000 more nurses, 6,000 new GPs, and 6,000 more primary care professionals in addition to the 7,500 further nurse associates and 20,000 primary care professionals announced previously. Due to the rise in numbers of people attending A&E departments it is vital that more funding and staff is allocated to hospitals across the UK to reduce the burden on staff and facilities.

The Government will now carefully consider the proposals before taking any next steps, and in the meantime will continue to hold the NHS to account on its existing waiting time standards.