Hunt: A&E departments under pressure

Apr 25, 2013, 09:18 AM

In a speech on Thursday he will suggest those changes should be reversed.

Speaking to the Today programme, Mr Hunt denied there was a crisis with A&E departments.

He said: "We're still seeing 90% of people within the four hour target, and the average wait is 53 minutes.

"But it is very much under pressure. We're seeing two million more people going through A&E every year than when we came to power, and that is a big increase in terms of the pressure on the system.

"We have a growing elderly population, and now a quarter of the whole country has a condition that's not curable, such as diabetes or asthma.

The shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, said: "Jeremy Hunt needs to ask himself why two million more people are coming to A&E.

"Might it be because they've closed NHS walk-in centres, might it be that they've broken up a successful NHS Direct service, or might it be that they've cut social care funding to the bone?"

BBC Radio 4 Today

BBC Radio 4 Today

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