MPs alerted to ‘dangerous winter’ for hospitals

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Almost 6,000 nursing jobs have been lost under the coalition Government, with A&E units on the brink of a “dangerous winter”, it was claimed yesterday.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham called for an end to the job cuts and urged the Government to ensure A&Es have enough staff to provide safe care during the winter.

Figures published yesterday suggest a further 450 nursing jobs have been cut, bringing the total near to 6,000 since May 2010, he claimed.

He also accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of using diversion tactics to disguise problems within the NHS which had seen the “first summer A&E crisis in living memory”.

But Mr Hunt said we would not listen to anyone from Labour when it came to providing safe care for patients.

Mr Burnham told Mr Hunt in the Commons: “Will you now listen to the experts, stop the job cuts and take immediate action to ensure all A&Es have enough staff to provide safe care this winter?”

Mr Hunt replied: “We’ll listen to no-one on that side of the Commons when it comes to safe care for patients in the NHS. They (Labour) presided over a system where whistleblowers were bullied, patients were ignored and regulators felt leaned on if they tried to speak up about poor care. That is a record to be ashamed of.”