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NHS Waiting Times

Volume 749: debated on Wednesday 8 May 2024

Healthcare is devolved to the Welsh Government, who have received record levels of funding to deliver on all their devolved responsibilities, receiving 20% more funding per person than in England.

So many people in Wales are waiting longer for NHS care than people in England, and in a 12-month period, 40,000 people had to go from Wales to England for elective care. Does that not show that Labour’s claims to be better for the NHS are completely false?

My right hon. Friend is entirely right: the NHS is not safe in Labour’s hands, and we have living proof of that in Wales. It is a great shame that when the Secretary of State for Health in England offered the support of the NHS in England to alleviate pressures on waiting times in Wales, the Welsh Health Secretary turned that support down. That is Labour’s record on the NHS.

One of the problems that a lot of my constituents have raised with me is that when they do get a letter calling them for an appointment—including one for which they have been waiting for some time—that letter arrives after the appointment date, because the Royal Mail is now delivering such an appalling service. Is it not time that we had a strong word to make sure that people who are being called for appointments get a chance to turn up to them, because they have actually received their letter on time?

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point, and one that I will certainly investigate with colleagues, but I think the problem lies with the mismanagement of the Welsh NHS, for which his party must take responsibility.