Leaders clash over A&E waiting times


David Cameron has insisted the NHS is getting better under the coalition government, after Labour leader Ed Miliband accused the PM of presiding over a crisis in A&E.

Mr Miliband led his questioning on 6 November 2013 by asking the PM if he could guarantee that there will be no crisis in accident and emergency departments this winter.

Mr Cameron said the government had met its NHS targets for the 27th week in a row, with average waiting times down to 50 minutes.

"We will do everything we can to make sure the NHS continues to perform in the excellent way it does today," he told the Commons.

But Mr Miliband said the PM had got his figures wrong.

The Labour leader claimed targets had been missed for 15 consecutive weeks, with medical professionals declaring there is a crisis in A&E.

In the last year, he said, waiting times, ambulance response times and trolley waiting times were all up because of the government's "top-down reorganisation" of the NHS".

Mr Cameron said: "Last week was the 27th week in a row that we met our A&E targets, the NHS is treating 1.2 million more people in A&E than it was when he was in office."

He told the Commons that the average waiting time in A&Es is 50 minutes, compared with more than 70 minutes under the previous Labour government.

In Wales, where a Labour government is in power, A&E targets have not been met "since 2009", he claimed.

But Mr Miliband said the prime minister was "out of touch" and accused him of ignoring a "crisis" in A&E.

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