There was another hat-trick of Lib Dems at PMQs yesterday, and this time they tag-teamed to show the Conservatives up for failing to keep key health pledges in their manifesto.
Watch here, with the text exchange after the video.
First up, Ed Davey on the missing 40 hospitals.
The NHS is in crisis after years of this Conservative government running it into the ground and there is still no sign of progress on the long promised 40 new hospitals.
And Conservative MPs just jeer from the sidelines. It is an insult to millions suffering across the country. pic.twitter.com/uhiJnMH0Yp
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) February 22, 2023
It was a pleasure to meet the delegation from Kyiv before Question Time and to confirm that hon. Members across the House are united in our support for Ukraine and its brave heroes. The Conservative manifesto promised 40 new hospitals, but after three years most do not even have planning permission yet. Communities feel betrayed and taken for granted. As ITV showed yesterday, St Helier Hospital in south London is literally crumbling, but there is still no plan to save it, and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire has sewage leaking into its wards and a roof that could collapse at any moment. Does the Prime Minister agree that no patients, doctors or nurses should have to put up with those conditions?
The Prime Minister
I am proud that we are investing record sums into the NHS under this Government, including record sums into NHS capital, which are going on not only upgrading almost 100 hospitals and developing 40 large-scale developments, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, but investing in more scanners and more ambulances across the board so that we can deliver vital care to people. I am very pleased that the most recent statistics on urgent emergency care show considerable improvement from the challenges we faced in December, and we are now on a clear path to getting people the treatment they need in the time they need it.
Next up was by-election winner Richard Foord, who quizzed the PM on what was going on in the south west:
Today at #PMQs I challenged Rishi Sunak on the lack of progress with the supposed ‘new’ South West hospitals.
He can claim he is delivering, but the proof is in the pudding and local people can see the lack of action.
I’ll continue to hold the Govt to account on their promises. pic.twitter.com/ttN3O032ch
— Richard Foord MP (@RichardFoordLD) February 22, 2023
Of the 40 promised new hospitals referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Ed Davey), 11 are in the south-west of England. Three of them—in Barnstaple, Dorchester and Taunton—surround my constituency, but none has planning permission. It has been reported that staff at Eastbourne District General Hospital were told that their town would not get a new hospital, and that it was a “barefaced lie”. Given that the Prime Minister claims his mandate rests on a manifesto that promised 40 new hospitals, when will we see them?
The Prime Minister
The Government are committed to building 40 new hospitals as part of the new hospital programme. In the south-west, eight out of the 11 schemes do have full outline planning permission approved, and the remaining three schemes would not be expected to have planning permission at this stage, due to when they are due to be delivered. We are working with the trust to go through that process, so everything is on track, and we will bring those hospitals to the people in the south-west.
Finally, just when Rishi Sunak thought he was out of the woods, up popped Helen Morgan to tackle him on the Government’s failure to recruit doctors.
We’ll put the video up when we have it.
Not only have the Government broken their promises on new hospitals; they have also broken their pledge to have 6,000 more doctors, with the number of qualified GPs having actually fallen. GPs in Shropshire are seeing 400 more patients each than they were in 2016, which is one of the biggest rises in the country. Places across the country—East Sussex, Devon, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire—have also seen their number of qualified GPs fall. When will the Prime Minister end his and the Government’s neglect of local health services, and recruit and retain the GPs we need?
The Prime Minister
The facts are these: there are 2,200 more GPs in general practice today, there are 15,000 more doctors in the NHS, and there are 30,000 more nurses. That is because we are putting record funding in, backing the NHS and getting patients the care that they need.
All in all, a good piece of team work.