Points of Order Debate

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1st reading: House of Commons
Monday 11th March 2019

(5 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jonathan Ashworth Portrait Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) (Lab/Co-op)
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On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. You may have seen today that NHS England announced the trialling of the abolition of the four-hour waiting time target in A&E departments. You will recall that the target allowed the previous Labour Government to deliver some of the lowest waiting times in history, but it has not been met under this Government since July 2015. Indeed, 2.8 million patients waited beyond four hours in A&E last year. Getting rid of the target should be based on clear medical evidence, not pressure from Downing Street. Would it not have been a basic courtesy for the Secretary of State to have come to the House today to offer a statement so that we could question him on our constituents’ behalf? Have you had any notice that the Secretary of State intends to make a statement on getting rid of the four-hour A&E target?

Rosie Winterton Portrait Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Rosie Winterton)
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice that he intended to raise that point of order. We have not received any indication that the Secretary of State intends to make a statement to the House, but it is obviously up to him to decide whether to do so. However, the hon. Gentleman will know that there are other ways of pursuing the matter. I am sure that the Table Office would assist him with any information that he may require, although I suspect that he does not require any given that he is quite well versed in such things. At the same time, those on the Treasury Bench will have heard his concerns, which I am sure will be fed back.