I raised with Jeremy Hunt the deeply worrying case of a constituent who tragically died after a 2 hour, 40 minute wait for an ambulance.
His case was marked as “code yellow”, meaning an ambulance should have attended within 40 minutes. This is a tragedy which is a symptom of the dangerous underfunding of our health service, yet the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt failed to answer basic questions over the Government’s handling of the NHS.
Category 1 calls, the most serious cases, saw only 67 per cent of ambulances hit their target response time of eight minutes in Sheffield last year.
I want to be clear that our dedicated ambulance crews are working their hardest and doing the best job they can under these difficult circumstances.
But they can only work with the resources they have, and as our A&E services face unprecedented demand, the Government must set aside its ideology and provide the urgent funding needed to avoid disaster.
Jeremy Hunt called it “a mistake to continually bring this back to funding”, but funding is clearly a problem when A&E services are unable to cope. We’re not even experiencing a particular cold snap at the moment, so the increase in demand is almost entirely of the Government’s own making given the cuts elsewhere in the NHS and social care.
Jeremy Hunt needs to get a grip and respond properly to this crisis or unnecessary deaths will become more and more common.