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A&E Waiting Times

Volume 673: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2020

20. What steps he is taking to reduce the number of patients who wait longer than four hours for treatment in A&E. (901437)

Despite the NHS seeing a substantial rise in demand, with 1 million more attendances at A&E in 2019 than in 2018, our amazing NHS staff continue to work hard to ensure that everyone gets the care they need, including seeing 1.7 million more people within the four-hour standard than in 2010.

This morning, as I scanned the NHS England winter situation report covering Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust in my constituency, I saw that it had massively underperformed in terms of ambulance handover delays. Across this winter, it averaged 38% of handovers taking at least 30 minutes. The national average was just 14%. How do the Government explain the fact that, despite trusts seeing 16,000 fewer arrivals this winter, there were 22,000 more handover delays?

The hon. Gentleman will know that the London ambulance service serves the whole of London. His trust does see increased demand and increased challenges associated with winter, but I would also point out the positive. His trust received £1.2 million of winter capital in 2018 to aid preparations for winter. He will also know that the 20 hospital upgrades programme includes the St George’s site, serving the trust more broadly with a health and wellbeing centre, which will ease pressures.