Prime minister attacks Welsh government's NHS record

David Cornock
Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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As question time goes, it was loud, angry and rather predictable. The Labour leader attacked the prime minister on the NHS; David Cameron attacked Ed Miliband on the NHS.

Mr Miliband raised the prospect of an accident and emergency crisis this winter. David Cameron told him the NHS was treating 1.2 million more people in A and E than it was under Labour: "But I can tell him where there will be a particular problem. There will not be a winter crisis in the NHS in Wales, where Labour is in control, because there is a crisis every day of the week in Wales, where Labour is in control."

Mr Miliband had another go: "The Prime Minister is simply wrong about the figures. If we look at what is happening in our hospital A and E departments, we see that the target has been missed for 15 consecutive weeks. The whole country will have heard that he cannot guarantee that there will not be a crisis in our A and E departments this winter, and that is because there already is a crisis."

The exchanges continued in a similar vein, with Ed Miliband accusing David Cameron of "giving P45s to nurses and six-figure payoffs to managers".

The prime minister replied: "First, we are saving £4.5 billion by reducing the number of managers in our NHS. For the first time, anyone re-employed has to pay back part of the money they were given. That never happened under Labour. We do not have to remember Labour's past record, because we can look at its record in Wales, where it has been running the health service. It cut the budget by 8.5%, it has not met a cancer target since 2008, and it has not met an A and E target since 2009.

"The fact is that the right hon. gentleman is too weak to stand up to the poor management of the NHS in Wales, just as he is too weak to sack his shadow Health Secretary."

Ed Miliband didn't respond directly to any of the points about Labour's running of the NHS in Wales - it's his job to ask questions rather than answer them although if you want to hear him defend the Welsh government on that subject you can see my report here.

First Minister Carwyn Jones did defend his government's running of the Welsh NHS yesterday, during first minister's questions in the National Assembly for Wales. He told Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies that he wouldn't accept his call for a wide-ranging inquiry into the health service in Wales.

He said: "There is a need for one in England because the NHS in England is in crisis because of your government. You only had to see the front page of The Observer on Sunday to see the disaster that is awaiting people in England, sadly, because of the actions of his party. One thing that we will not do in Wales is impose the chaos in England on the people of Wales."

A Welsh government spokesman said: "Faced with serious questions about redundancies in the NHS in England it is regrettable that the Prime Minister chose to launch an inaccurate attack on the NHS in Wales."